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Forage Types

Hay, silage and pasture is your business, and it's our focus. Take your operation to the next level with the help of our comprehensive and practical information, education and technology about various forage types.

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Drought continues to cover much of the country, resulting in reduced supplies of quality forage and grain. In an attempt to salvage corn and sorghum crops as a feed, cows are turned into the field to graze the total plants (leaves, stalks and grain). This practice, however, may cost more money than it saves due to production and livestock losses resulting from the presence of aflatoxin, prussic acid or nitrate in the grazed crops.

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Personally, I am a very visual learner. It is easy for me to “grasp” a concept when I can physically “grasp” it. With this in mind, I sought to create a visual aid to help explain the difference between pure alfalfa silage and hay crop (alfalfa-grass mix) silage using a method from Kurt Cotanch.

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Throughout spring and summer, we’ve seen a variety of weedy plants in irrigated cool-season perennial pastures. Often, the first question we’re asked is, “What do I use to kill ____?”

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Native warm-season grasses have long been considered “low-input” forages, having the ability to yield high quantities of forage while requiring limited fertilizer and at lower pH than many of our other common forage species.

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Beef cattle production systems are dependent on forages, which are often of low quality, and the impact of forage quality on cattle performance becomes greater as the percentage of forages in the ration increases.

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Forages are the foundation of all ruminant diets. The fermentation of forages in the rumens of cows, goats and sheep (and the hindgut of horses) is necessary for both meeting the energy and protein needs as well as maintaining a healthy population of microbes in the rumen or hindgut.

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