MFA Incorporated

Summer 2013 Forage & Livestock

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Page 19 of 67

SPECIAL SECTION: 2013 FORAGE GUIDE 2013 Forage Guide The more important criteria for selecting a forage mix are: • Adaptability of the component species to your soil conditions and local weather patterns. • Your specific forage needs, whether for pasture, hay, silage, or green chop. • Your type of livestock operation. • The volume of forage you need annually to operate. • The time of year forages are needed. Forage mixes A soil test is the best basis for a fertilizer recommendation The table on page 24 is an estimate of nutrient removal by crops. In the absence of a soil test these may be used as a guide for your fertility program. Sulfur Recent studies have shown a response to sulfur on many crops including pasture. If a soil test is not available, apply 10 to 15 pounds of sulfur per acre. The sulfate form of sulfur is immediately available to plants. If elemental sulfur is used it will be one to six months before it becomes available to plants. The species mix is one of the single most important factors in forage production. The legumes, grasses, and other forage species growing on your farm affect not only the feed value of the roughage produced, but also yield and growth distribution during the growing season. Forage plants not adapted to your soil conditions or your specific forage needs ultimately reduce the profitability and overall efficiency of your entire operation. 18 Summer 2013

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