A major objective in low input grazing systems in temperate regions is to maintain a productive population of white clover with the other pasture species. The desirable attributes of clover are a capacity to fix biological nitrogen and as a source of high quality forage.
Unfortunately, despite many decades of research, the clover content of pastures is frequently less than is desirable and often subject to unpredictable fluctuations. Changes in clover content can arise from changes in population numbers and/or in the size of population units; the relevant unit of population in this case being a growing point; that is, the apical meristem of a stolon plus a variable number of leaves.
In this talk I will describe these terms more fully, along with the associated growth stages. A model formulated on the basis of growing point population will be presented, and outcomes of various management strategies using numerical simulation demonstrated.