University of Missouri Extension

M181, New February 2012

Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage

Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.)

Legumes

Birdsfoot trefoil is a short-lived perennial legume capable of producing high-quality forage on soils where other legumes do not survive. Although it generally yields less than red clover and alfalfa when cut for hay, it often gives better performance than these legumes when grown in a grass/legume pasture. Unlike many other perennial legumes, birdsfoot trefoil does not cause bloat in cattle. However, it does not tolerate continuous grazing or frequent haying. It is also prone to a number of diseases and pests that make management for reseeding essential. Although birdsfoot trefoil may grow statewide, it is best adapted to northern Missouri.

Birdsfoot trefoilBirdsfoot trefoil
 

Yield distributionYield distribution of birdsfoot trefoil in Missouri.
 

Leaf
Leaf

Seed pods
Seed pods

Flower
Flower


M181 Dairy Grazing: Selecting the Right Forage | University of Missouri Extension

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