Grazing High Legume Pastures

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 Feed costs and their systems are the single greatest expense to a cattle operation so feed is almost always the primary factor that determines the profitability of that operation. There are management practices that can help livestock producers optimize production through feeding/grazing management which include enhancing pasture productivity and extending the grazing season. Both of these strategies can be addressed through grazing higher legume forages.
High Legume Pasture Learning – Year 2
This two page summary highlights what the cooperators experienced in their second year of growing, and in some cases grazing, a high legume forage stand. The weather across Alberta varied significantly over the growing season so there are varying stories told. This document has many links embedded in it, wherever you get a pointing finger, if you click on it, you will be taken to further information.

Establishing a Legume Pasture
(Duration: 9:46 minutes)
Why Legume Pasture?
(Duration: 9:38 minutes)

Sainfoin Bulletin 1
This bulletin covers seeding and establishment of Sainfoin; the types of soils and conditions that Sainfoin is best suited for as well as how to manage during the first growing season of establishment.

Sainfoin Bulletin 2
Bulletin 2 addresses grazing management of a high legume pasture that contains Sainfoin. How to manage the stand so that the Sainfoin is not grazed out as well as how to manage for bloat.

Sainfoin Bulletin 3
Innovation to maximize animal performance – this bulletin covers pasture quality and quantity including palatability, plant selection and feed value. Sainfoin is a legume that produces condensed tannins which, if eaten in sufficient quantity, greatly reduces the incidence and severity of bloat.

Sainfoin Bulletin 4
New sainfoins have proven to provide forage yields similar to other legume species. Their regrowth now is equal to alfalfa. To maintain a forage stand that includes Sainfoin, it is important to allow the Sainfoin to set seed periodically by leaving it to mature.

High Legume Pastures Learning – Year 1
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry staff, Agriculture Canada researchers, and experienced high legume grazers in cooperation with forage and applied research associations in Alberta and their member-cooperators, are working on a GF2 High Legume Pasture project. This publication takes into account many of the first year learnings from this two year project.

Summary of High Legume Pastures – Year 1 for the Associations
This is a two page summary of the first year of the two year GF2 High Legume Pasture project created for the eleven forage and research associations to include in their year end reports.
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Andrea Hanson.
This document is maintained by Amrit Matharu.
This information published to the web on March 7, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 3, 2018.