Boston Plantain is high in vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories giving it an edge over many other traditionally planted forage species. Boston Plantain contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, potassium, calcium, sulfur, and cobalt. Retention of these minerals by grazing animals is more elevated than retention rates of animals grazing other species. Both the taproot and a fibrous root system of Boston Plantain will allow it to compete in many different environments, including those with heavy clay soils. Via chemical secretion, Boston Plantain, is both a slug and snail deterrent. Once established, the Boston plantain will provide a consistent source of forage high in protein throughout the year. Highly palatable, Boston Plantain risks selective grazing ahead of most legumes and grasses.
Sheep grazing Boston Plantain will demonstrate a higher intake vs. endophyte-free perennial ryegrass, but require increased chewing and rumination activity than perennial ryegrass. Boston Plantain can slow down rumen microflora activity, but not permanently impair rumen function due to active bio compounds. Changes to the rumen’s volatile fatty acid composition may improve animal productivity and milk composition. Plantain can be fed to weaned piglets up to 8% DM of their diet without a performance loss.
Plantain will provide control over most animal worms, coccidiosis, e-Coli, and salmonella. Gastrointestinal parasites in animals fed plantain have lower live egg counts, resulting in increases in the animal’s live weight.
In pure swards, Boston Plantain has generally given live weight gains equal to or less than endophyte-free perennial ryegrass. Bloat can be mitigated by grazing animals on Boston Plantain, and meat flavor will remain unaffected.