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Forage is a plant material (mainly plant leaves and stems) eaten by grazing livestock.[1] Historically, the term forage has meant only plants eaten by the animals directly as pasture, crop residue, or immature cereal crops, but it is also used more loosely to include similar plants cut for fodder and carried to the animals, especially as hay or silage.[2] The term forage fish refers to small schooling fish that are preyed on by larger aquatic animals.[3]

While the term forage has a broad definition, the term forage crop is used to define crops, annual or biennial, which are grown to be utilized by grazing or harvesting as a whole crop.[4]

Common forages

Bull feeding on grass
Horse-drawn transport of fodder in Romania
Meadow of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

Grasses

Grass forages include:[5][6]

  • Agrostis spp. – bentgrasses
  • Andropogon hallii – sand bluestem
  • Arrhenatherum elatius – false oat-grass
  • Bothriochloa bladhii – Australian bluestem
  • Bothriochloa pertusa – hurricane grass
  • Brachiaria decumbens – Surinam grass
  • Brachiaria humidicola – koronivia grass
  • Bromus spp. – bromegrasses
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    While the term forage has a broad definition, the term forage crop is used to define crops, annual or biennial, which are grown to be utilized by grazing or harvesting as a whole crop.[4]

    Grass forages include:[5][6]

    Herbaceous legumesHerbaceous legume forages include:[7]

    White clover (Trifolium repens)
    • Arachis pintoi – pinto peanut
    • Astragalus cicer – cicer milkvetch
    • Chamaecrista rotundifolia – roundleaf sensitive pea
    • Clitoria ternatea – butterfly-pea
    • Kummerowia – annual lespedezas
    • Lotus corniculatus – bird's-foot trefoil
    • Macroptilium atropurpureum – purple bush-bean
    • Macroptilium bracteatum – burgundy bean
    • Medicago spp. – medics
    • Melilotus spp. – sweetclovers
    • Neonotonia wightii – perennial soybean
    • Onobrychis viciifolia – common sainfoin
    • Stylosanthes spp. – stylo
    • Trifolium spp. – clovers
    • Vicia spp. – vetches
      • Vicia articulata – oneflower vetch
      • Vicia ervilia

        Tree legume forages include:

        Sheep with silage

        Silage

        Silage may be composed by the following:[8]

        Crop residue

        Crop residues used as forage include:

        • Sorghum
        • Corn or soybean stover

        See also

        References

        1. ^ Fageria, N.K. (1997). Growth and Mineral Nutrition of Field Crops. NY, NY: Marcel Dekker. p. 595.