During the years 2000 through 2004, Smith screened each of these five breeding populations at Overton for early and profuse flowering, large leaf size and high forage production potential, he said.
click image to zoomNeches is a new white clover variety developed by Dr. Gerald Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant breeder, Overton. By June 4, this stand was already producing 20 to 30 flowers per square foot, acEarly high seed production means a Neches white clover stand has a good chance of returning yearly, even if plants are killed by summer heat or drought, said Dr. Gerald Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant breeder, Overton. A grazing/daily gains study with these cattle is currently being conducted as a cooperative project with Dr. Monte Rouquette, also at the Overton center.
“Plants not selected were removed from the field planting,” Smith said. “All field nurseries were isolated from other white clover plants and natural bee pollination was used for seed production.”
In 2005, Smith grew 200 plants from each of the five advanced populations in a combined nursery and selected once again for the same traits, he said. Seed harvested from these final selections was used as breeder seed for Neches.
Barenbrug USA was granted an exclusive license to market Neches in 2011, and has been increasing the seed at sites in Oregon and California, Smith said.
According to its website, Barenbrug is a “world leading developer of proprietary turf and forage grass varieties and legume species. The company has been in turfgrass plant breeding, seed production and marketing since 1904.”
“Neches should be available this fall anywhere Barenbrug seed is sold,” Smith said.