Forage - /ˈfôrij/ - plant material

November 4, 2020

Definition: The edible parts of plants (other than separated grain) that can be harvested for feeding livestock.

A Closer Look: Depending on the livestock management system, forage can be cut and carried to the animals or livestock can find and consume it themselves.

Important Characteristics to Consider When Selecting Forage Species: 

  • Adaptability to specific climatic and soil conditions
  • Growth characteristics
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Versatility of usage (e.g., fuel, honey, and charcoal, etc.)
  • Protein content
  • Palatability
  • Digestibility*
*It is important to note that digestibility is often related to tannin or other secondary chemical compound content which, if high enough, can interfere with certain animals' ability to digest and metabolize nutrients.