Forage Systems

Forage-based Systems

Dr. Francis Fluharty is leading a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) project titled “Assessing Production Systems, Economics, Marketing, Producer and Processor Perceptions and Characteristics of Meat from Forage-Based Systems”. He and his colleagues (Drs. Henry Zerby and Jeff McCutcheon) are analyzing grass-based finishing systems as unique systems amenable for small- to medium-size beef and sheep producers. The project looks at the effects of forage-based beef and lamb finishing systems on enterprise economics, animal production, carcass quality/composition, and production efficiency.

Forage typically comprises more than half the diet fed to lactating dairy cows and, therefore, has a substantial impact on milk yield and feed costs.  Dr. Bill Weiss and Mrs. Dianne Shoemaker (OSU Extension) evaluate different forages and forage combinations from both an economic and nutritional perspective. This work will allow dairy producers to optimize their forage systems for specific situations.