Cross-canada comparison of the productivity of fodder galega (Galega orientalis lam.) with traditional herbage legumes

N. A. Fairey, L. P. Lefkovitch, B. E. Coulman, D. T. Fairey, T. Kunelius, D. B. McKenzie, R. Michaud, W. G. Thomas

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18 Scopus citations


A study was conducted across Canada to compare the herbage productivity of fodder galega (Galega orientalis Lam.) to that of traditional forage legumes, in order to assess its agricultural potential. Trials were established at latitudes ranging from 45 to 56°N with longitudes from 52°W (St. John's, Newfoundland) to 120°W (Dawson Creek, British Columbia). Herbage productivity was monitored for a maximum of 3 production years. The establishment characteristics of Gale fodder galega were comparable to those of Apica and Beaver alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Altaswede red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), and somewhat superior to those of Dawn Alsike clover (T. hybridum L.) and Leo trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.). Anik alfalfa (M. falcata L.) was far less uniform and vigorous in its establishment than any of the other species. The average annual dry matter yield of fodder galega ranked third among the seven legumes when averaged over the nine sites; it produced 5545 (SE 95) kg ha-1 compared to 3931 (SE 72) kg ha-1 for Dawn alsike clover, the lowest-yielding crop, and 6673 (SE 114) kg ha-1 for Apica alfalfa, the highest-yielding. The cumulative dry matter yields indicated that Gale galega is at least as well adapted across Canada as the other legumes, except possibly at Saskatoon where the M. sativa alfalfas were far superior to all the other legumes in their ability to establish and thrive. The performance characteristics of Gale fodder galega indicate that it has considerable agricultural potential as an additional, perennial, herbage legume for many regions of Canada, except in the semi-arid continental climate of the central Prairies where its growth may be limited by high air temperature and/or insufficient soil moisture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-800
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Plant Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Fodder galega
  • Forage legume
  • Galega orientalis Lam.
  • Goat's rue
  • Herbage production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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