Oklahoma State University

Forage Management

Forage Management

Cattle in Tall GrassIntroduced forages are generally non-native species that have been selected for rapid growth and grazing tolerance.

Management of introduced forages is characterized by the intensive use of inputs not normally associated with proper rangeland management.  Most notable among these inputs is the use of nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides.

Introduced forages used in livestock production systems are usually selected based on one or more of the following characteristics:

•High yield potential

•High nutritive value

•Cool-season growth when warm-season plants are dormant

•Ability to withstand close, continuous grazing.

The major introduced warm-season grasses common to Oklahoma include bermudagrass, bahiagrass, Old World bluestem, and weeping lovegrass.

The major cool-season grasses include tall fescue, various cereal grains, and annual ryegrass.

Several introduced legumes are used, including alfalfa, hairy vetch, and numerous clover species that include red, white, arrowleaf, berseem, and rose clover.

Producers who choose to try and take advantage of the high yield potential of introduced forages must also provide the necessary inputs required by these forages.

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