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CitationMowrey, D. P., & Volesky, J. D. (1993). Feasibility of grazing sainfoin on the southern Great Plains. Journal of Range Management, 46(6), 539-542.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractForage is often in short supply on southern Great Plains grasslands during spring because warm-season grasses are dormant or just beginning to grow. Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.), a non-bloat-inducing legume, can provide forage in semiarid regions during spring when irrigated. A study was conducted to investigate yield, quality, and persistence of sainfoin in a subhumid region of the southern Great Plains without irrigation. Sainfoin was established in 1989 and grazed with steers at early or late bloom growth stages in 1990 and 1991 to remove 50 or 75% of the forage height. Forage yield averaged 2,480 and 4,110 kg ha-1, respectively in 1990 and 1991. Fifty to 80% of sainfoin's forage yield occurred prior to average stocking dates on warm-season pastures for summer grazing. Crude protein concentration averaged 15 and 19% and in vitro digestible dry matter averaged 57 and 62% in 1990 and 1991, respectively. Sainfoin survival was unaffected by grazing treatment through July 1991. After a severe drought from late July through August 1991, sainfoin stands were reduced 22% across treatments (P > 0.05). Sainfoin has potential to complement warm-season pastures in the southern Great Plains, but additional effort is needed to improve plant persistence.