Sheep and cattle farmers need pastoral systems that are more productive and environmentally sustainable. The role that high feeding value herb and legume forage species can play in the farms of the future is highlighted. It is shown that species such as chicory (Cichorium intybus), plantain (Plantago lanceolata), red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (T.repens) can provide live weight gains in lambs that are 70% greater than those from perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) based pastures. A case for replicated experiments that examine the value of whole technology packages based on herb and legume species, rather than component research, is made.
chicory; feeding value; lamb growth; plantain; red clover; white clover