A Legume That is Good for Goats and Good for the Soil

Oct 20, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Sericea lespedeza is an imported perennial legume that can grow in a wide variety of soils. Since it’s a legume, it can change atmospheric nitrogen into a plant usable form through its association with bacteria that colonize its root system. Auburn University has done more research than any other institution on this sericea lespedeza for a variety of uses, from stabilizing eroded areas and road banks to growing it as a perennial hay crop.  The varieties suitable for hay which have high levels of tannin are becoming important as more farmers are raising goats. In the south, goats are endangered by soil-dwelling barber pole worms, the high tannin sericea hays contain   natural worming agents. By feeding flocks these varieties of hay, farmers can reduce their reliance on chemical worming agents and help prevent the rise of drug-resistant populations of these pathogenic nematodes.