Start Date

26-2-2015 10:15 AM

Description

In the Southeast, including legumes like alfalfa and clover in pastures provides many advantages. It reduces the impact of fescue toxicosis, provides free nitrogen, and improves pasture quality leading to increased animal performance. Individual animal performance is greater on grass/legume pastures compared to performance on similar monoculture grass stands. Daily gains for steers grazing clover-fescue swards is improved compared to straight tall fescue pastures (Figure 1). Improved performance is partially due to greater forage intakes. This practice is sound management even though legume bloat is a risk to livestock. If one considers the number of cattle grazing pastures containing legumes worldwide, the “fear of bloat” results in far greater economic losses from low beef cattle gain than the potential losses from bloat itself. In other words, if you don’t incorporate legumes into your pastures, you are leaving money on the table.

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Feb 26th, 10:15 AM

Grazing Alfalfa: Real Cost of "Fear" of Bloat

In the Southeast, including legumes like alfalfa and clover in pastures provides many advantages. It reduces the impact of fescue toxicosis, provides free nitrogen, and improves pasture quality leading to increased animal performance. Individual animal performance is greater on grass/legume pastures compared to performance on similar monoculture grass stands. Daily gains for steers grazing clover-fescue swards is improved compared to straight tall fescue pastures (Figure 1). Improved performance is partially due to greater forage intakes. This practice is sound management even though legume bloat is a risk to livestock. If one considers the number of cattle grazing pastures containing legumes worldwide, the “fear of bloat” results in far greater economic losses from low beef cattle gain than the potential losses from bloat itself. In other words, if you don’t incorporate legumes into your pastures, you are leaving money on the table.