Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Noble Foundation Ag News & Views. 25:12 (December 2007) (etc.)


Copyright 1997-2012 by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.,


Legumes can improve the production and nutritional value of pastures while reducing nitrogen fertilization requirements. On July 19, 2008, the Noble Foundation will host the "Texoma Pasture Conference" to explain the pros and cons of using legumes in pastures. The Agricultural Division has invited experts from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas to deliver this exciting program. We encourage you to attend this timely event. In the meantime, we will tell you about ongoing research in the Agricultural and Forage Improvement divisions evaluating legumes for pasture.

A goal of our research is to identify best practices for establishing and managing cool-season or temperate forage legumes in winter and summer pasture systems. Besides increasing nitrogen availability through atmospheric nitrogen fixation, temperate legumes can help bridge a gap between winter and summer pastures. Optimum growth and availability of temperate legumes occur during spring, a time in which the quality of winter small-grain pastures is declining and bermudagrass is yet unavailable. In 2006, we initiated research at three regional sites to determine forage yields of different legume species. The following is a description of common legumes included in our trials and their use as forage in southern pastures.