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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Redmon, Larry
item Hendrickson, John

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2005
Publication Date: 2/20/2007
Citation: Redmon, L.A., Hendrickson, J.R. 2007. Temperate sub-humid and temperate semiarid regions. In: R.F. Barnes; C.J. Nelson, K.J. Moore, and M. Collins (Eds.). Forages: The Science of Grassland Agriculture. Vol. 11, 6th Edition.

Interpretive Summary: To reduce costs, livestock producers need to meet as much of their livestock’s needs from the field as possible. Carefully designed forage systems can help reduce the livestock producers dependence on supplemental feeds and herbicides, increase the ability to adopt alternative production enterprises and increase profit potential. Understanding the unique relationships between soils, plants, animals and climate for the temperate sub-humid and semi-arid regions of the U.S. can help producers develop systems. This chapter examines these relationships and forage species and utilization for these regions.

Technical Abstract: In order to hold production costs to a manageable level, the nutrient requirements of most kinds and classes of livestock should be met with forages from the field to the greatest extent possible. No single forage species will meet the nutrient requirements of all grazing livestock at all times of the year. Therefore, livestock producers have developed forage systems that optimize livestock performance at the lowest cost. A forage system is a planned forage program designed and implemented by the manager that seeks to use a mixture of both forage species to meet the nutrient requirements of grazing animals on a year-round basis, if possible. The climate and soils at the production site, the kind and class of livestock, the manager's aversion to risk, and the overall goals of the production system will determine the choice of species. In a forage system, careful consideration is given to growing various adapted forage species based on their ability to provide forage of adequate nutritive value at the time the grazing animals have specific nutrient requirements. This matching of animal nutrient demand and forage nutrient supply reduces input costs while maintaining or improving animal performance. Appropriate forage systems can reduce dependence on supplemental feeds and herbicides, increase the ability to adopt alternative production enterprises such as winter stocker programs, and provide increased potential for profit from the production system. This chapter examines the unique soil-plant-animal-climatic resources of the temperate sub-humid and temperate semi-arid regions of the U.S. Forage species and their utilization in forage systems for the regions are also discussed.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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