Pastures and hayfields represent a farmer’s cheapest source of livestock and horse feed. Properly managed fields can yield massive quantities of quality forage. When it comes to forage seed, farmers really do get what they pay for.
Improved forage varieties consistently out-yield and out-persist their cheaper, common counterparts. A new medium red clover, such as LS 9703, may live a full year longer than older varieties, while yielding 1,000 pounds more dry matter per year. Improved annual ryegrasses, such as King diploid or Chuckwagon tetraploid, have better cold tolerance and/or disease resistance and can produce more than 8,000 pounds of dry matter per acre in a single harvest.
If quality varieties are planted, soil pH and fertility are monitored, and fields are cut or grazed at ideal times, improved forage varieties can significantly decrease an operations dependency on other feed sources and improve farm profitability.