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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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Alfalfa is a high-quality, valuable forage crop that can be successfully produced on most well-drained soils.

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Corn silage is a very challenging crop to feed, analyze in the laboratory and to sort fact-from-fiction with regards to selecting the best genetics for individual dairy enterprises. The challenge begins with corn silage being a “TMR plant” consisting of a grass plant with high-moisture corn attached. This raises issues ranging from more potential for sub-sampling errors in obtaining representative samples, to the energy availability being highly influenced by the degree of kernel damage.

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Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye, combining the quality and productivity of the former with the vigor and hardiness of the latter. It’s also a very green means of removing potentially water-polluting phosphorus right from the soil.

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Forages have been and always will be an important source of nutrients for ruminants. For dairy producers, forages are the base of the feed pyramid, the foundation on which the remainder of the diet is structured. Feeding high-quality corn increases dairy efficiency and helps reduce feed costs associated with purchased ingredients, especially protein.

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Feeding adequate quantities of high-quality forages is the basis of profitable milk and livestock production. Forage production, harvest, storage and feed practices have changed greatly over the past 50 years, and silage has become a staple forage.

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Forages are crops used as hay, silage, haylage, green chop or pasture for feeding animals. The forages or other feed ingredients are given to cows to be digested first in the rumen and second in the small intestine. When we feed cows, the feed is used by bacteria in the rumen. After the feeds are utilized by the bacteria and other microorganisms then byproducts of bacterial fermentation and other ruminal digesta flow down to the small intestine where they are digested and absorbed. The digesta in the small intestine is broken down and absorbed into the cow’s body to be used as energy to maintain the cow and make milk.

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