A Sainfoin workshop in Swift Current attracted livestock producers, researchers, government officials, seed companies and Industry representatives.
Dr. Alan Iwaasa is a Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Swift Current Research and Development Centre.
He’s been doing some research work with funding from the Alberta Beef Producers and gathered individuals interested in Sainfoin to talk about where we are with research and where we need to go.
Iwaasa says researchers are studying ways to rejuvenate some of the older pastures, especially the old community or PFRA pastures that are maybe not as productive as they once were.
“We are looking at direct seeding or sod-seeding into some of these old stands using either existing zero-til seeding equipment or actually looking at the opportunities to look at different herbicide treatments to reduce the aggressiveness of some of the other grass species. That would allow a better opportunity for Sainfoin or other legumes to be seeded.”
Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume that animals find quite palatable in pasture stands.
“We propose that Sainfoin is one of many tools may be that the producer can look at as far as forages. In the case of where you are rejuvenating or you have an old stand; Sainfoin could be something that could work for you to provide some more improvement as far as forage production. As well as the nutritional qualities of your stand that would be beneficial for your livestock to use.”
Producers have the option of direct seeding it (Sainfoin) into existing pastures and forage stands.
He notes when seeding forages you should have a firm seedbed, good weed control and soil depth since its important not to seed forages to deep.
More information is available in the newly released Sainfoin for Western Canada booklet.