Crop and Pasture

Crop and Pasture Overview

In animal husbandry, crop and pasture are essential to feeding, especially amongst ruminant animals like cattle, goat and sheep. Forage crops are grown on pasture where animals graze and feed. Alternatively, crops can be harvested from the pasture under a zero-grazing system and fed to animals on the farm. Nutrients derived from forage crops is converted by animals for the production of meat, dairy and other by-products. Besides forming a significant portion of an animal’s feed, forage crops are beneficial in providing soil cover to protect soil from degradation. Amongst its numerous benefits, legumes have the ability to fix Nitrogen in plant root nodules which is converted to ammonia for the plant’s use. Forage can also be used as beddings for animals; serve as source of balanced diet; production of green yard manure and source of material for roof cover.
A major challenge to crop and pasture is urbanization. The construction of residences, industries and other infrastructural development have led to a reduction in the size of available pasture land. As a result, farmers are looking to alternatives such as corn residues and cover crops in places like Nebraska, to meet livestock feed needs. Another strategy may be to increase efficiency on available land by producing more forage with fewer inputs. Need expert advice on crop and pasture for your livestock farming? Leave us a message today.