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Posts Tagged ‘Production’

Fodder Crops Defination

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than half of all agricultural land in the United States is used to produce fodder. Fodder is an agricultural term for animal feed, and fodder crops are those plants that are raised to feed livestock.

Common grain crops that are grown for fodder include corn, oats, millet, barley, sorghum, wheat and soybeans. Some of these crops, such as corn and wheat, are obviously also grown for human consumption.

Forage is a fodder crop that is grown (or encouraged, such as grass) for grazing animals. Immature grain crops, grasses and legumes, including alfalfa, are common forage.

Silage is fermented grass and other crops that are fed to ruminants, such as cattle and sheep. Silage grasses (hay and straw, for example) are cut and stored for future consumption, such as winter feed.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) includes grasslands, or pasture, as a fodder crop even if the grass is not cultivated. Pasture is land set aside for free-range grazing animals, such as cattle and sheep.

The production of fodder worldwide requires enormous energy, and agriculturalists, conservationists, ecologists and others are realizing that the land and energy necessary to grow fodder to raise livestock can lead to an unsustainable system. Adopting green technology and reducing the consumption of animal products are recommended by some people and organizations.