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Common name: Lucerne.
Scientific name: Medicago sativa.
Why we use it: Lucerne is a legume that grows all year around and is a perennial, which means it lives for more than two years. Its deep, tap roots allow it to source water when other plants can’t. Great for both grazing straight from the pasture, it’s also used for making hay to store and feed over the winter months. It’s been found to increase soil nitrogen, which is a main element needed for strong pasture growth.
Other minerals found in lucerne are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphur, iron, cobalt, manganese and zinc. Calcium is important for nerve function, muscle contraction, blood clotting and activation of a number of enzymes and bone formation. Magnesium helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, calcium, fats and protein. Potassium is important for enzyme functions, muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, electrolyte, acid/base and water balance.
The cows find it easy to digest and it’s also a great source of protein.