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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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Pasture forage for grazing can offer several benefits. If managed properly, it is the most cost-effective source of feed for cow-calf producers and other livestock operators.

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To effectively condition hay or haylage, we need to understand the forage drying process:

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Having the correct amount of moisture in harvested alfalfa at the time of baling is critical to maximizing economic return. In many of the areas of the western U.S., moisture levels of alfalfa hay in the windrow can dry to the point that leaves and stems will shatter during the baling process.

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Baled silage, or baleage, is forage baled at a higher moisture content than dry hay and then stored in sealed plastic wrap. The high moisture level and air-tight environment create favorable conditions for anaerobic fermentation and production of lactic and acetic acids that preserve the forage.

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Sunshine – a word producers have not said for a while during the winter/holiday season. As we start to climb into the calendar year, experience the beloved time change in March and see longer days filled with sunshine, it means hay season is not far away.

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Brown midrib (BMR) or low-lignin varieties of sorghum, sudan, millet and hybrid crosses have been commercially available since the 1990s. However, I still receive questions (and opinions) from livestock producers regarding claims that BMR varieties improve animal performance relative to their non-BMR counterparts. Some buy in wholeheartedly, attesting to improved intake and body condition; others say they have not seen the benefits.

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