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Beef School, Ep 13: Rejuvenating pastures with non-bloat legumes

By: RealAgriculture News Team

October 5, 2019

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Imagine rejuvenating a tired pasture (without the need to break it up and start from scratch), while simultaneously reducing the risk of bloat in future grazings.

Recent studies conducted on the Prairies have shown that including sainfoin in an alfalfa stand at just 20-30 per cent can significantly decrease or even eliminate the risk of bloat. So what if that sainfoin, or another non-bloating legume, was seeded directly into an old stand?

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In this episode of the Beef School, University of Saskatchewan PhD candidate Breanna Kelln shares research from the Western Beef Development Centre looking at just that.

The research started in 2015, with sod-seeding two species of non-bloat legumes – sainfoin and cicer milkvetch – into an old meadow brome/alfalfa pasture.

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Over the following three years, the 15 five-acre paddocks were grazed by steers, with information gathered to ultimately analyze animal performance, soil health, plant productivity, forage quality, rumen fermentation, and methane production.

“Overall, the findings from the study show that rejuvenating and using non-bloat legumes in a rejuvenation strategy for some of those old and tired pasture stands can lead to a bump in yield, bump in forage growth, better quality, and of course that’s all going to impact that producer’s bottom line…”

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See more Beef School episodes here!

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