Learn how to benefit from sainfoin

A new sainfoin variety called AC Mountainview will allow producers to add alfalfa to their pastures without fear of bloat

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A new variety of sainfoin is the focus of an upcoming training session in Lethbridge on July 21 and 22.

“AC Mountainview has the ability to regrow more quickly than older varieties,” said Grant Lastiwka, a provincial forage and livestock business specialist. “Having a non-bloating, early growth and good regrowth legume is certainly something that is viable for many grazing operations.”

Including sainfoin in a grazing system offers several benefits, he said.

“What we’re looking at with legumes is the ability to fix nitrogen, and to grow during the August summer slump period to help out the forage grazing quality. The natural tannins in sainfoin are a bloat preventive. That is why we are looking at AC Mountainview sainfoin in a mix with alfalfa to greatly reduce the risk of, or even eliminate, bloat. Alfalfa is known for high productivity but is seldom used to its potential as a pasture species because of fear of bloat.”

The new sainfoin variety will help with getting more productivity and profitability per acre out of pasture, said Lastiwka.

“With the addition of a legume like AC Mountainview, with its ability to reseed itself, we can look at potential longevity, and increases in productivity and average daily gain. If you increase productivity by a half, or even a third, our profitability doubles or better. Now, who would not like to run more cattle on the same acreage and make more money doing it?”

The training sessions in Lethbridge will look at incorporating sainfoin into grazing systems with alfalfa.

“This one-day training session will provide livestock producers with innovative options to reduce bloat risk on high legume pastures, improve productivity, and develop grazing systems that deliver greater profitability,” said Lastiwka. “Participants can decide whether they want to attend on the 21st or 22nd as we are running this one-day workshop twice, with each day having the same agenda.”

For more information, go to agriculture.alberta.ca. To register, call 1-800-387-6030. The registration deadline is July 10.

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