Characterization of new sainfoin populations for mixed alfalfa pastures in western Canada

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Sottie, Edmund Tei
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A series of experiments were conducted to compare nine new sainfoin populations developed to persist in mixtures with alfalfa under a multiple-cut management. In trials at Lethbridge under rain-fed and irrigated conditions, new sainfoin populations produced higher (P<0.05) dry matter yields as compared to Nova sainfoin. New cultivars persisted for three production years in mixed stands with alfalfa accounting for >20% DM at each harvest. Condensed tannin concentrations in sainfoin were highest at the bud stage. One new sainfoin population, LRC-3519 seeded in alternate rows with alfalfa caused a reduction (p<0.001) in bloat incidence by 98% as compared to Nova-alfalfa stands. Average daily gains (>1.0 kg d-1) of steers on alfalfa-sainfoin mixed pastures were similar (p>0.05). Seeding of these new sainfoin populations in mixed stands with alfalfa could prove to be a means of taking advantage of the productivity of mixed forage legume pastures while preventing bloat in grazing ruminants.
Sainfoin -- Research , Alfalfa -- Research , Pastures -- Canada, Western , Forage plants -- Research , Bloat in animals -- Prevention , Dissertations, Academic