When studying farming text books of the 1920’s and the 1930’s, Sainfoin was a popular crop well
used and well understood by farmers. It is a legume which means it fixes nitrogen, it has very
deep roots which means it is very much part of an anti-compaction strategy, it is a top class
animal feed and being perennial it carries on year after year, which means its establishment
cost is amortized over a long period of time.
At Lower Pertwood Farm we use it for all these things but most importantly we use it to produce
very high volumes of organic matter that remain in the field. In a typical year we would graze
the crop quite early, we would then leave it to mature to the level shown in the pictures below,
we would then harvest it for seed and depending on the weather conditions probably get another
opportunity to graze it for winter. In spring it comes fighting back as if nothing had happened.
The farmers of years gone by knew what they were doing. We are delighted to follow their example.