The Rotational Benefits of
Forages: A Review
"In 1950, forage crops occupied 4.5% of our cropped acreage in Manitoba. Nevertheless, the best advice obtainable indicates that at least 20% of our acreage should be sown to these crops to meet the need of our soil and livestock."
- from 1951 Bulletin of the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and Immigration
"Today, the estimated percent of arable cropland rotated with forages ranges from 5 to 15% on the northern Great Plains."
- from Entz, M. H., Baron, V. S., Carr, P. M., Meyer, D. M., Smith S. R. Jr. and McCaughey, W. P. 2002. Potential of forages to diversify Northern Great Plains Cropping Systems. Agronomy Journal 94: 240-250.
The benefits of forages in crop rotation have long been recognized. In the past, forages were associated with "stable or balanced" agriculture. Modern research tells the same story, but due to less diversified production systems, the benefits of forages are often not taken advantage of.
The Value of Forages to Agriculture
|Livestock||% Forage in Ration|
Forages also offer an indirect value to agriculture. Forages offer benefits by improving the soil, crop yield and quality, suppressing pests and reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment to name a few.
View the following Powerpoint Presentations To Learn More About the Benefits of Forages
Clicking on one of the links at left will open a new window. For best viewing, maximize the new window. Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to scroll through the show. Close the window when done. These presentations are best viewed using Internet Explorer version 6.0 or newer.
A quote about alfalfa...
Today, upon the threshold of an era of infinite promise, who is bold enough to measure the civilizing values of such a plant upon human destiny?
Geo W. Hendry, 1932
- Consider rotating short-term forage stands to benefit the whole farm.
- In not interested in traditional forages, consider cover crops or forage seed crops.
M.H. Entz, W.J. Bullied, and F. Katepa-Mupondwa. 1995. Rotational benefits of forage crops in Canadian prairie cropping systems. Journal of Production Agriculture 8:521-529.
M.H. Entz, V.S. Baron, P.M. Carr, D.W. Meyer, S.R. Smith, Jr., and W.P. McCaughey. 2002. Potential of forages to diversify cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains. Agronomy Journal 94: 240-250.
This page created August 2004.