It often happens that a forage-livestock producer plants a new forage variety for pasture or hay and gets outstanding results. This may be at least partially because it represents a triumph of plant breeding. However, it may simply be that in the process of establishing the new planting, the manger has imposed management such as weed control and application of lime and fertilizer, and has monitored the field more closely than usual. In addition, cultivation may have increased decomposition of soil organic matter, releasing nutrient and favoring other plant growth factor. In many cases, the higher cost of the new variety caused the producer to practice a higher level of management, perhaps subconsciously. The point is that in many cases, forage crops already on a farm may have the potential to be as productive, or nearly as productive, as new forages; they just need better management. Forage-Livestock Quotes and Concepts, vol. 2 is available here.
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