Start Date

23-2-2006 11:40 AM

Description

Forages are the foundation for building diets for beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep and goats. The quality of these forages directly impacts forage intake, animal performance, and, ultimately, the profitability to their owners. As the quality of forages decline, consumption of that forage decreases and the amount of grain or byproducts which must be fed increases. The cost for a unit of performance increases and/or the animal can not perform (i.e. milk or gain) to the optimum level thus lowering profitability to the animal owner. These relationships are especially true with young and high performance ruminants, such as high producing dairy cows and stocker beef cattle with expected high rates of gain. To determine the quality of forage and its best use, a representative sample of the forage needs to be analyzed for its nutrient content by a forage testing laboratory. These results then can be used to not only market this forage but also to balance rations for livestock for optimum and profitable performance.

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Feb 23rd, 11:40 AM

Interpreting Forage Quality Test Reports

Forages are the foundation for building diets for beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep and goats. The quality of these forages directly impacts forage intake, animal performance, and, ultimately, the profitability to their owners. As the quality of forages decline, consumption of that forage decreases and the amount of grain or byproducts which must be fed increases. The cost for a unit of performance increases and/or the animal can not perform (i.e. milk or gain) to the optimum level thus lowering profitability to the animal owner. These relationships are especially true with young and high performance ruminants, such as high producing dairy cows and stocker beef cattle with expected high rates of gain. To determine the quality of forage and its best use, a representative sample of the forage needs to be analyzed for its nutrient content by a forage testing laboratory. These results then can be used to not only market this forage but also to balance rations for livestock for optimum and profitable performance.