Legume breeding

The legume breeding team focus on producing varieties of white clover (Trifolium repens L.), the main forage legume of the UK and similar temperate regions and red clover (Trifolium pratense  L.) for sustainable livestock production systems. The breeding is funded through the Defra Sustainable Livestock Link programme with commercialisation of varieties funded by Germinal Holdings Ltd.

Breeding objectives

Under agricultural conditions, forage legumes must interact with a range of biotic factors including the companion grass and other species, rhizobium bacterium and grazing animal in addition to the usual range of climatic and edaphic factors. Optimising these interactions is a key to realising the potential of legumes for reducing outputs, boosting quality and reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production. The breeding programme is focused on producing varieties with improved yield and persistence with a reduced environmental impact through:

  • Grass/clover compatibility
  • Stress tolerance
  • Disease and pest resistance
  • Tolerance of defoliation managements
  • Enhanced total mixture yield
  • Reduced environmental impact


Dr Rosemary Collins
Dr David Lloyd
Mr Jim Vale
Mr Benjamin Ling
Mrs Ellen Sizer-Coverdale
Mr Matthew Lowe
Mr Joe Kelly
Mr Aeron Edwards

Further Information

IBERS Grass Clover Varieties