Cattle Today

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Forage tests done in conjunction with the University of Arkansas Extension showed that Legend lespedeza out yielded all other varieties of lespedeza, including Marion, by over 35 percent. According to Larry Sandage, University of Arkansas Extension Forage Specialist who supervised the test, “It did so well that I would consider Legend the lespedeza of choice for northern and parts of central Arkansas, it seems to be able to fill a real niche there.”

There are two very good reasons to consider Legend in your pastures: timing and tonnage. Both mean more milk and more pounds of beef!


Legend lespedeza is likely to be used most effectively as a companion legume providing high quality (protein, energy, and minerals) feed in cool-season grass pastures during summer months when it's needed most. Because these grasses leave a significant gap during the summer months, lespedeza is a perfect choice –especially in low pH soils.

Milk production, calf weights and reproductive efficiency are all closely tied to the animal nutrition during this period. The effects of endophyte toxicity in fescue pastures during this time are hard to measure, but well documented. This fungus affects all of animal performance -especially reproduction. By adding Legend as a companion forage, the effects of this fungus can be significantly reduced.

Annual Lespedeza is also very unique because it is amazingly tolerant to infertile or acid soils. It is a good reseeder, is very drought tolerant, and is one of the few legumes that do not cause bloat. In order for a lespedeza stand to persist, it must produce seed and resist disease. Lespedeza has been on the ‘come-back' in recent years, especially with the development of new types and varieties.


Legend is the newest selection of common or striate lespedeza. It has longer, narrower leaves than other annual types, and in some tests has grown 6-8 inches taller than the popular Marion variety. In addition to being taller, Legend also appears to have a much greater leaf to stem ratio with its leaves much closer to the ground. Dry matter yield estimates taken in single-cutting side-by-side comparisons have shown the new ‘Legend' lespedeza has a definite yield advantage over all other types and varieties. In some cases the advantage has been two to one. In the three-cutting University of Arkansas test, Legend was the top yielder –out producing the next closest variety by 35 percent. More importantly, this new lespedeza exhibits a definite advantage in drought tolerance and the ability to reseed itself when other types do not.

Annual lespedeza can be used for either pasture or hay, and it can be grown with several grasses. It can be grown effectively in nearly all of the lower Midwest and throughout the South. A number of producers have also found the Legend lespedeza to work well with warm-season grasses, with adequate management, in both grazing and hay production in areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Another reason to consider lespedeza is that it is an excellent wildlife food source. Deer, Quail, Wild Turkey, and other game prefer lespedeza to many other food sources.

Legend lespedeza is marketed exclusively by Cutting-Edge Agri-Products, Lowry City, Missouri.

For free information on Legend call 800-753-6511.


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