New Variety of Sainfoin Could Mean Bloat Free Alfalfa Forage

CANADA - Great news has ermerged for cattle producers as Scientists have developed a new variety of sainfoin that when paired with alfalfa in a mixed stand offers bloat-free alfalfa pasture grazing for cattle.
calendar icon 15 February 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

Development of the new cultivar was led by Dr. Surya Acharya of Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge.

With a proposed name of Mountainview, it offers cattle producers a brand new option to pair with alfalfa, to provide innovative new options and many superior benefits. Acharya says this new sainfoin cultivar is truly one-of-a-kind and represents an exciting new opportunity for cattle producers.

Acharya says it is the first sainfoin cultivar that will survive in alfalfa pasture and grow back at the same rate after cutting or grazing. He adds it will prevent bloat in mixed stands to provide producers with their first real, economically viable option to allow for highly productive, bloat-free alfalfa pasture grazing.

A new way to win the battle with bloat is a big step forward to benefit beef and dairy industries in Western Canada.

Sainfoin is a high quality forage legume crop that features a condensed tannin concentration, which is very effective at preventing deadly pasture bloat in ruminants. However, until now, sainfoin cultivars have not survived well in alfalfa pasture or grown back after the first cut.

The new cultivar was bred to overcome those two hurdles and field trials show it represents a great success.

Acharya says the Mountainview cultivar achieves what was set out to accomplish with the sainfoin improvement program--it grows very well and fits all the criteria cattle producers have required to have a solid, reliable option to support bloat-free alfalfa grazing. He says this cultivar is well suited for preventing bloat in mixed alfalfa stands without loss in animal productivity.

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