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Forage Production

Whether you graze, chop, ensile, bag or bale forage, we offer practical information for your hay, silage and pasture needs.

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They considered themselves to be good farmers.

“We were getting just under 19 inches of moisture in a year, and we were wasting it. We’d plant winter wheat on black fallow and get 50 bushels an acre and be tickled to death,” Dan Forgey says. “But we thought we were good farmers.”

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It’s really quite shocking, the first time you notice a large swath of your pasture has been cultivated without your knowledge or consent. You may even scratch your head and wonder what happened to your grass.

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So, your cows are off their feed – maybe even off their feet. Perhaps you’ve noticed a disruption in your herd’s breeding interval, maybe a few more open than normal compared to previous years. Having ruled out diseases and pathogens, it’s time to consider: Is it something they ate?

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Both legumes and grasses are susceptible to diseases, pests and pathogens that can destroy the plant or greatly reduce their productivity or the quality of the forage.

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Forage growers, like the rest of the farming world, must deal with pests of various descriptions – weeds, bugs, molds, fungi and the occasional virus as well. It reminds me of the “thorns and thistles shall it bring forth …” and “in the sweat of thy face you shall eat …” kind of problem mentioned in Genesis.

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Alfalfa is a major forage crop in the U.S., and the organic component has been growing to supply organic milk producers. A number of insect pests attack this crop, but the alfalfa weevil is probably the most familiar to growers.

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