Forage species


Bird’s foot trefoil

Altus, a birdsfoot trefoil variety selected for its persistence and productivity in mixtures

Fonctionnal benefits

  • A persistent variety in meadows;
  • Improved forage quality;
  • Improved herd health;
  • Potentially reduced methane emissions.

The benefits in detail

Trefoil in meadows:

  • ALTUS is a variety that has been selected for its productivity in forage mixtures (yield: 126% vs. controls).
  • ALTUS has very good durability (7.5) in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, and good drought tolerance (7.3).
  • In our trials, after 2 years of operation, 60% of ALTUS plants were still present in the mix, compared with 23% for the control varieties.

Improved forage quality:

  • Bird's-foot trefoil is a legume that increases the protein content of fodder.
  • In addition, its high tannin content (1-5%) improves protein assimilation by limiting its breakdown in the rumen (by-pass effect).

Improved herd health:

  • The high tannin content of birdsfoot trefoil reduces the risk of weathering, so its inclusion in mixtures, particularly with white clover, is recommended.
  • In small ruminants, incorporating tannins into the ration helps to control digestive strongyles.

Finally, trefoil's high tannin content could help reduce methane emissions.


Non-contractual document. The information contained in this document is for guidance only and may vary according to soil and climate conditions.