Bolta (Trifolium michelianum) is an annual temperate pasture legume that grows during the autumn, winter and spring periods. Bolta is a late maturing hard seeded Annual Clover that is well suited for medium to high rainfall environments. It demonstrates semi-erect growth when grown in a mixed sward situation but will remain prostrate if grown as a pure sward or grazed. Leaf size and shape can vary significantly. Bolta generally has plain leaves or leaves with a white crescent and demonstrates little pink or silver coloration as can be observed with Frontier or Paradana. Bolta can provide excellent herbage production particularly in spring conditions. It was selected for its superior late season production compared to Paradana. Seed size of Bolta is 15-20% larger than Paradana which will assist with much improved seedling vigour allowing better establishment. Bolta is an excellent pasture variety which is suited to heavy grazing, is highly digestible (14-18% crude protein) and can be used on its own or in pasture mixtures that may consist of Persian Clover, Sub-Clover, Grasses or Lucerne. Bolta provides added benefits as a disease break while also fixing nitrogen.
Bolta is the latest flowering variety of the balansa species in Australia. It will flower approximately 10-14 days later than Paradana. This late maturity will make it well suited to long growing seasons. The late maturing nature of Bolta results in up to 35-40% more total herbage production during the late spring period compared to Paradana.
Bolta is susceptible to Red Legged Earth Mite (Halotydeus destructor) and Lucerne Flea (Sminthurus virdis), particularly during the establishment period and control measures need to be undertaken. In field situations it has been noted that Bolta has good tolerance to Cowpea Aphid (Aphis craccivora), Blue-Green Aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi) and Spotted Alfalfa Aphid (Therioaphis trifolii). Moderate aphid damage may occur and control may be required to minimise damage.
Bolta has been granted protection under PBR. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994. Heritage Seeds Pty Ltd has an exclusive licence for the production and marketing of Bolta.
- Shows good early vigour
- Offers excellent winter and early spring production
- Adapted to a large range of soil types, especially lighter soils
- Suitable for grazing, fodder, green manure and High Density Legume mixes
- Excellent pioneering plant, especially on acid soil
- Offering superior growth in spring – Bolta benefits farms during these important months by allowing high level production of hay and standing feed
- With tolerance to both clover scorch and waterlogging, Bolta can be relied upon in a number of different situations
Bolta is tolerant of Clover Scorch (Kabatiella caulivora) but can be susceptible to Pythium spp. during the seedling stage given suitable conditions. No other significant diseases have been recorded in Bolta.
New sown stands can be grazed lightly during the 1st year of establishment. Hay cuts and heavy grazing should be avoided if regeneration is desired. Stock should be removed at the first sign of budding to increase the levels of seed set for regeneration in the following year. As with many pure legume stands, Balansa Clover can cause bloat in livestock but this is not commonly observed.
Due to Bolta’s hard seeded nature, it will demonstrate excellent levels of regeneration and persists well under set stocking. Improved production will occur should you graze regenerating pastures soon after the autumn break. This will help minimise the competition level from weeds as seedlings can be slow to establish. Pastures can be grazed hard from early winter through to budding and flowering. In established stands light to moderate grazing can continue during the flowering period and low to moderate levels of seed set can still be achieved.