Sainfoin probably isn't a good choice for growers in Nebraska or Wisconsin, say forage agronomists in the two states.

“In almost all areas where alfalfa is well-adapted, sainfoin does not yield as well,” says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska. Also, he says the crop often must be fertilized with nitrogen and is susceptible to root and crown rots, which can shorten stand life.

“In my opinion, sainfoin is most suitable for areas that usually get only one hay cutting per year, especially if soils are calcareous,” says Anderson.

Due to low seedling vigor, sainfoin shouldn't be harvested the first year, adds Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin.

“The lack of yield in the seeding year, adaption to high-pH, low tolerance of wet soils and susceptibility to crown rot causing short stand life indicate that this species is not likely to be useful in Wisconsin,” says Undersander.