NCCC031: Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management
Statement of Issues and JustificationForage crops have essential roles in US agriculture and society as a whole. They diversify crop production through on-farm and cash hay, silage, and pasture-based systems for beef, dairy, sheep, and goat production. They are also the nation's primary tools for broad-based environmental improvement, biofuel production, and future value-added industries such as carbon sequestration. Forages encompass a broad range of plant species that provide economical and nutritious feed for ruminant livestock, soil protection and improvement, fixed ("free") nitrogen for crop production and rotations, wildlife habitat, and biomass for renewable fuel production.
This committee serves as an essential mechanism of communication among forage crop scientists and grassland ecologists within and beyond the North Central region. At the annual meetings of the committee, detailed reports apprise each member of the most recent research developments of other SAES and USDA-ARS locations represented by the membership. Lines of communication are established which are used frequently, and collaborative research projects are generated. Thus, the total forage research program of the membership is coordinated and enhanced.
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