I am researching for drought tolerant perennials to establish on our property. I have found a dry landnative grass mix that I will probably purchase, by I ran across a reference to Altai Wildrye as a perennial grain and Sainfoin as an ancient legume more suited for drought. Sainfoin is also supposed NOT to cause bloat and protect against worms etc. I'm wondering if anyone semi local has experience with these perennial forages? Do they work as purported?
I am familiar with both wildryes and Sainfoin as pasture or for hay. I think Altai wildrye is supposed to be a good forage in dry lands and is possibly also tolerant of high salinity, although I could be confusing that with some other variety of wildrye. Sainfoin does not cause bloat, it can even prevent bloat when consumed by ruminants with alfalfa and clovers.Sainfoin will thin out and disappear without good mnagment. As forages native plants tend to be higher quality and hold nutrition better late into fall and winter, the downside to native mixes is less growth during growing season.
Location: San Luis Valley, CO zone 4, alpine desert, elevation 7500, average precip. 7.5"
Thanks Leora. We will be putting in natives as most of our acreage does not have the option to be irrigated. The ultimate goal of course is to have a savanna type silvo-pasture. I was hoping to put a couple acres in using wildrye and/or sainfoin in an irrigated 2 acre section while we get our system underway, to help with winter feed costs. Unfortunately if we purchased seed all at once for the natives it would be close to $10K as we have over 7o acres...so piecemeal it will be! Thank you for your recommendations.
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