Birdsfoot Treefoil

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Get Birdsfoot Trefoil CTD for $4.35 per pound!

Birdsfoot Trefoil is a perennial legume that THRIVES in areas with heavy precipitation (20 inches or more). Trefoil is a high-quality, non-bloating legume used for pastures, hay, and stockpiling. It is also used in erosion control on marginal soils and as a wildlife mix that is an excellent food source for deer. Trefoil is most productive in fertile, well-drained soils with a close to neutral pH.

Planting Depth: ⅛” - ¼” 

Planting Rates: 8-10 lbs per acre, 4-8 lbs per acre for mixes depending on cool season grasses used.

Planting Dates: Mar-May, Aug-Sep

*Product ships in 50 pound bag.


Planting Trefoil should be done on a smooth, firm seedbed. Early spring seeding is generally more successful than late summer seeding. See above for planting rates and depth. All Trefoil is inoculated to ensure sufficient nodulation of the root system for nitrogen fixation.


Even though it prefers neutral soils, Trefoil can be grown on low pH (5.5) soils with low fertility and will tolerate short periods of flooding better than alfalfa. It can tolerate periods of drought and is more suited to soils prone to heaving. Alfalfa will out produce Birdsfoot Trefoil by 50 to 80 percent on well drained, fertile soils limiting Trefoil to areas where alfalfa is difficult to produce.


If harvested for hay, the 1st cutting should be taken at 1/10 bloom with a 2nd cutting in mid-late August. Sufficient regrowth between cuttings is needed to maintain a stand of Trefoil to allow the plant to reseed itself. Due to its vigor, heavy grazing is typically needed in the spring to reduce growth. Close and continuous grazing is not recommended because summer regrowth depends on the energy supplied by top growth. Make sure to leave 3”-4” of top growth when grazing. One should avoid haying or grazing past September 1st to allow for winter survival and spring growth. Trefoil is well suited for stockpiling since it maintains its leaves at maturity and after frosts. Birdsfoot Trefoil responds to proper fertility management which should be determined by soil testing.


Lotus corniculatus L., Birdsfoot Trefoil is a short-lived, non-bloating perennial legume which has the ability to reseed itself under proper management. Stems are smaller in diameter and less rigid than alfalfa stems and can grow to a height of 12 to 30 inches depending on whether it is a prostrate or erect variety. Flowers are bright yellow (4 to 8 per stem) with each flower producing one seed pod. Seed pods radiate from the flower stalk, resembling a bird’s foot. Leaves are compound with five oval leaflets. Birdsfoot Trefoil has a well developed tap root with numerous lateral branches in the upper 15 inches of soil. There are approximately 370,000 seeds per pound.


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