Track 1-04

Description

If ruminant production from cultivated and natural grasslands is to depend less on petroleum-based products, forage legumes must serve as protein sources. Commercially available legumes for warm-dry climate grasslands are, however, very limited and resources available for developing such legumes are inadequate. Indeterminate flowering and dehiscent seed pods combined with the need for specialized seed harvesting equipment are major impediments (Butler and Muir 2012). Warm climates often present environmental challenges such as poor rainfall distribution, extended dry seasons, temperature extremes and aggressive grass species (Muir et al. 2011). Erosion of indigenous knowledge and replacement with inappropriate land management approaches from moist-temperate regions compound the challenges.

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Challenges to Domesticating "Native" Forage Legumes

If ruminant production from cultivated and natural grasslands is to depend less on petroleum-based products, forage legumes must serve as protein sources. Commercially available legumes for warm-dry climate grasslands are, however, very limited and resources available for developing such legumes are inadequate. Indeterminate flowering and dehiscent seed pods combined with the need for specialized seed harvesting equipment are major impediments (Butler and Muir 2012). Warm climates often present environmental challenges such as poor rainfall distribution, extended dry seasons, temperature extremes and aggressive grass species (Muir et al. 2011). Erosion of indigenous knowledge and replacement with inappropriate land management approaches from moist-temperate regions compound the challenges.