Goat Pastures Warm Season Improved Legumes

Goats June 29, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Warm Season Improved Legumes

Warm season legumes that provide good quality forage and fix atmospheric nitrogen are lacking in the southeastern United States. Sericea lespedeza is the most useful warm season perennial legume although it is considered an invasive plant in parts of the country. Another perennial species is alfalfa, a cool season legume growing throughout the summer. Alfalfa, however, is usually not grown for meat goats due to establishment costs and lack of persistence. Perennial peanut is also an excellent warm season perennial forage, but it is adapted only to the lower coastal plains and is slow to establish. As a warm season annual legume of high quality, soybeans or cowpeas can be easily integrated into a summer forage grazing system.


Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata)

Summer Annuals

Soybean (Glycine max)

Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata)

Luginbuhl, J-M. 2006. Pastures for Meat Goats. In: Meat Goat Production Handbook, ed. T.A. Gipson, R.C. Merkel, K. Williams, and T. Sahlu, Langston University, ISBN 1-880667-04-5.

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