Viper Balansa Clover 

$2.62 / lb

SKU: 4215 Categories: , ,


 $2.62 lb  (no tax)
Type: Annual Legume
Usage: Pasture, Deer Plot, Fertilizer Substitute
Height: up to 36″
Planting Dates:
Feb, Mar, April
Sept- Oct 15
Seeding Rate:
Pure Stand
5-8 lbs/acre (it is coated seed)
Mix with Grasses
3-5 lbs/acre  (it is coated seed)
Established Grass Pasture
3/4 lbs/acre  (it is coated seed)
Viper balansa clover is an early maturing, high-yielding annual legume able to tolerate a wide range of soils. It produces significant amounts of nitrogen, ideal for cover crops and animal feed. Viper may be cut for stored forage or grazed. It is highly digestible, and adapted to rotational grazing. Viper can also take close grazing, even when young. Abundant flowers attract pollinators while hard seed production provides natural reseeding.

Grows Like No Other

Viper is quick to germinate, with better vigor/earlier growth than some other balansa varieties. Initially, Viper forms a small, multi-branched rosette emerging from a single, deep taproot. Under a grazing regime, Viper will remain prostrate. However, allowed to grow, Viper’s stems will eventually turn upright, forming a multi-branched hollow stem with copious amounts of plant mass up to three feet high.

As the plant matures, it will continue to grow and produce blossoms that are very attractive to pollinators. Allowed to seed, Viper is capable of producing large amounts of regenerative hard seed viable up to three years.

Tremendous Tolerance

Viper balansa performs well in an extremely wide range of soils, tolerating pH levels from 4.5-8.3 and able to survive in waterlogged soils and short periods of flooding.

A Multipurpose Clover

Cover Crop

Viper’s nitrogen production, soil-building root structure, and extensive biomass production make it a top choice for adding to a cover crop mix. Viper can be combined with grasses, brassicas and other legumes. Balansas have been shown to fix over 100 lbs. N/acre per year. Viper, in particular provides that N earlier, due to its earlier maturity.


Viper can be frost seed or broadcast into existing pastures to boost protein levels of forage, while contributing nitrogen to other crops. With excellent digestibility and protein levels in the upper 20’s, Viper is an ideal component in a small grain/grass/legume sward that can be harvested by grazing, hay or silage. Viper can take close grazing, even when young. Use with other non-legumes will reduce bloat potential.


Viper produces abundant flowers. Honeybees and other pollinators love it and so do the deer!

Yield Data

Mississippi State University

Cover Crop Trial

Starkville, MS


Variety Yield (DM/AC) Total Yield
3/15/2020 5/1/2020
Viper 1824* 2481* 4305*
Taipan 1714* 1628 3342*
Fixation 1666* 2578* 4243*
Lsd 1153 877 1862

*Statistically equal to top scoring variety.

Planted: 10/18/19.

Fertilizer: 100 lb/A of 0-0-60, Herbicide: 5 oz/A of Pursuit® (imazethapyr)

Soil type: Marietta Fine Sandy Loam

Cover Crop Performance

In the October of 2019, researchers with the University of Tennessee planted extensive cover crop trials in three Tennessee locations – Knoxville, Spring Hill, and Milan. In addition to assessments of nitrogen content and release, assessment were conducted for ground cover, biomass and height. The data below reflects averages of all three sites. Site-specific data and complete results available upon request.

University of Tennessee

Biomass, Canopy Cover, and Height

Three Location Average


Variety Biomass (Tons DM/A) Canopy Cover (%) Height (in)
Apr May Nov Feb Nov Feb Apr May
Viper 0.4 1.8 2 16 0 1 6 15
FIXatioN 0.3 1.2 3 12 0 1 5 20
Paradana 0.2 0.7 2 9 1 1 4 10

University of Tennessee

Nitrogen Content/Estimated Nitrogen Release

Three Location Average


Variety Biomass (Tons DM/A) Total Nitrogen (%) Est. N Released: April Termination (lbs/ac) Est. N Released: May Termination (lbs/ac)
April May April May 2 wks. 4 wks. 12 wks 2 wks. 4 wks. 12 wks
Viper 0.4 1.8 3.1 2.4 1.0 2.0 13.7 2.7 5.7 45.0
FIXatioN 0.3 1.2 3.3 2.6 0.7 2.0 12.0 2.0 5.0 36.7
Paradana 0.2 0.7 2.6 2.1 0.0 0.7 4.7 1.0 2.0 15.3