Webinar: Forage Legumes in Pasture and Successful Inter-seeding

Join eOrganic for the third webinar in a series about organic pastures by Mike Peel of the USDA ARS Forage and Range Research Lab in Utah! The webinar took place on March 19, 2020.

The success of any grazing based operation depends on pasture productivity and forage nutritive value. Results from research projects conducted by USDA-ARS and Utah State University researchers will be presented demonstrating the increase in productivity and forage nutritive value from pastures that include forage legumes when compared to cool season grass monocultures. It will be shown that the increased productivity can equal that of a grass monocultured fertilized at a high level, and that the forage nutritive value of these grass-legume mixed pasture exceeds that of grass monocultures.  This is particularly significant for organic based grazing operations where commercial fertilizer cannot be used. Forage legumes that offer potential for irrigated pastures include alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, trifolium’s, and cicer milkvetch. Invariably the question is asked, “How can a legume be successfully introduced into my grass monoculture pasture to realize their benefits?” Additional results will be presented demonstrating that inter-seeding a legume into an established pasture can be successful when cool-season grasses are in their “summer slump” and the least competitive. Funding for this webinar was provided by NIFA OREI and Western SARE.

Find a pdf handout of the slides here.

The first 2 webinars in this series are on the eOrganic YouTube channel:

Published March 2, 2020

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.