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Other Forage

Find production tips on specialty or non-traditional forages – from cover crops to corn stover, and sorghums to small grains or brassicas.

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Incorporating cover crops into your operation isn’t, unfortunately, a “one size fits all” approach. Different soils do better with different cover crop species, steers and heifers require a species with higher energy than a dry cow and, of course, your growing season can throw a wrench into what you can plant and when.

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Throughout history, farmers have sought to improve yield and productivity of the land they farm. One method is to double-crop, or grow two crops in the same season. In warmer climates, farmers often raise a crop of soybeans and corn or some other combination of crops within one year. In the northern climates like Minnesota, the growing season has been too short to do this.

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Forage is the foundation of all diets for ruminants. In addition to supplying nutrition for many different types of livestock, forages contribute to healthy biosystems and the overall ecosystem, providing shelter and food to animal species and preventing the erosion of soils and the contamination of waterways and other riparian habitat.

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In recent years, cover crops have gained popularity throughout many parts of the nation. Much research has been done evaluating their use in cropping systems and their utility in improving soil health. More recently, more research has started investigating their usefulness as a forage source.

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Have you thought about planting cover crops this year, but don’t know where to start?

As more and more farmers experiment with cover crops for the first time, a number of questions come up. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear.

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Is there someone in your life who occasionally reorganizes your possessions without prior consultation? If so, you are probably familiar with the joy of rediscovering prized possessions.

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