Forage Production Systems

Course video 7 of 56

This week you will learn about what forages are, why they are important and the multiple roles they play on the dairy farm. We will also review some of the basic management considerations that are involved in the establishment, production and harvesting of these crops. The first lecture will focus on the multiple roles that forages play on the farm on considerations that are necessary to develop an effective forage production system. In the second lecture we will discuss some common perennial forage crops and their management. This will include alfalfa, alfalfa grass mixtures and grasses. In the third lecture, we will discuss the annual forages commonly used on dairy farms: corn, sorghums and small grains. You will learn how to utilize pastures in dairy production systems. The fourth lecture will discuss grazing and pasture management, including challenges of grazing systems, how grazing management has evolved, and proper grazing management for optimum forage and animal productivity. The fifth lecture will focus on nutrition for grazing herds, including nutrient content of pasture relative to the nutrient requirements of lactating dairy cows and strategic supplementation strategies for optimal animal health and milk production. Those of you, who would like to get more engaged in discussions and are interested in completing the Course Certificate requirements, can participate in discussion forums and take the weekly quiz. Enjoy this week's material and the entire course!

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