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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Birdsfoot Trefoil, a Valuable Tannin-Containing Legume for Mixed Pastures

item Macadam, Jennifer - UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
item Griggs, Thomas - UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
item Beuselinck, Paul
item Grabber, John

Submitted to: Forage and Grazinglands
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: May 12, 2006
Publication Date: September 12, 2006
Citation: Macadam, J.W., Griggs, T.C., Beuselinck, P.R., Grabber, J.H. 2006. Birdsfoot trefoil, a valuable tannin-containing legume for mixed pastures. Forage and Grazinglands. Available:

Technical Abstract: Birdsfoot trefoil is well suited for use in grazed pastures, performing especially well on calcareous soils but it has also proven to be better adapted on soils too acidic or limited in fertility, texture, or rooting depth for successful alfalfa production. Although somewhat slow to establish, with proper management birdsfoot trefoil performs well and persists under grazing with grasses, producing a physically integrated mixture that promotes efficient intake. Condensed tannins in birdsfoot trefoil prevent bloat but are at concentrations that do not constitute an antiquality factor. Tannins in birdsfoot trefoil increase rumen undegradable protein and decrease intestinal parasite loads, improving productivity and reproductive health while reducing methane and ammonia emissions in sheep and cattle.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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