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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.

LATEST

Can beef cattle be finished efficiently on pasture? That was a question another extension specialist at the University of Kentucky and I had seven years ago when corn prices were soaring to unprecedented levels, and feedlot finishing costs were high.

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As the growing season advances, producers should know about what proportion of the annual forage production occurs by month. Typically, about 25 to 30 percent of the annual forage production should have occurred by June 1 for most regions of the U.S. other than the Southwest region.

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Native warm-season grasses such as big bluestem and switchgrass are good options for complementing cool-season grass forage systems.

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For all of us who have grazing livestock, we have two seasons that overlap: the growing season and the grazing season. But can we make one or the other longer?

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Growing alfalfa in rotation with corn improves yields, reduces the risk of crop loss, reduces fertilizer nitrogen and pest control inputs, spreads cropping and labor activities throughout the growing season, improves soil quality and reduces cropland vulnerability to nitrate leaching, soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

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When I teach my course on pasture management to livestock producers and get to the topic of grazing, the ranchers ask very practical questions, such as: When should I open the gate to let the animals into a field?

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