Birdsfoot Trefoil as a Forage on Organic Dairy Farms Webinar by eOrganic

Organic Agriculture August 26, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

About the Webinar

This webinar took place on May 15, 2014. The inclusion of highly digestible legumes like birdsfoot trefoil (BFT) in pasture plantings can increase the productivity of grazing livestock. Because forage legumes produce their own nitrogen, they can meet their own fertility needs. In addition, since BFT and other tannin-containing forage legumes are non-bloating, they can be planted as 50% or more of mixtures with no risk of bloat.

In this webinar, Dr. Jennifer MacAdam will describe a multiple year research project, funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), that is partnering with established organic dairy producers in the Mountain West to determine the impact of supplementing and/or replacing grass pasture with birdsfoot trefoil (BFT) on milk production and milk quality. The study is looking at feed nutrients from organic BFT versus grass, the effects these forages had on soil organic matter, omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in milk and cheese from BFT-fed cows, and the economic risks and benefits for organic dairies of converting grass pastures to BFT pastures.

The slides from the webinar are available as a PDF here.

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About the Presenter

Dr. Jennifer MacAdam is a Forage Plant Physiologist at the Utah State University. She has been on the faculty at Utah State since 1991, where she teaches courses on plant physiology and anatomy. Her research has centered on management of seeded, irrigated pastures for livestock production, plant responses to salinity and drought stress, and the growth and development of grass forages.

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This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.