Frost-seeding forage legumes into small grain cover crops is an option for many
farm operations. The objective of this study was to determine the affect of frost-seeding
date and small grain cover crop on the establishment and yield of alfalfa (Medicago
sativa L.) as well as a red and ladino clover (Trifolium pratense L. and Trifolium repens L) mix. Seeding dates included; early winter, late winter, and spring seedings. Fall planted cover crops included; control of no cover, spring oats (Avena sativa), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), and winter rye (Secale cereale). Seeding date was the most significant factor affecting legume plant populations. The spring seeding resulted in the highest populations and yield in five of six site years. Cover crop use increased plant population and yield, with no large difference among the cover crops used. Results illustrate the risk of frost-seeding, but also indicate the potential success with favorable conditions.