Forage Program

Welcome to the University of Maryland Forage Extension Program!

Our goal is to provide forage-related education, programming, resources, and networking opportunities to all those involved in the forage and livestock industries. Whether you are a forage producer, livestock owner, or industry professional, we hope to provide you with the necessary resources and guidance to achieve your goals and enhance the success and profitability of your operation.

What are Forages?

Simply put, forages are crops grown for animal consumption. Forages come in many different forms and include fresh forages like pasture which are grazed by livestock, as well as conserved forages like hay, baleage, and silage, which are harvested using equipment and stored for later use.

Forages serve as a major feed source for many types of livestock, particularly beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, and small ruminants. In addition to providing feed for animals, forage crops can also be grown for other purposes such as conservation or cover crops. In this role, they help to reduce soil erosion, compaction, and nutrient leaching.

Explore Our Program

  • Forage Field Day

    Educational Events

  • Open books laying in the grass

    Educational Resources

  • Blades of Grass

    Forage ID

  • A farm field with harvested hay

    Forage Testing

  • Forage Variety Trial at WMREC

    Forage Variety Trials

  • cross section of healthy soil

    Soil Testing

Featured Content

Check out one of our most recent articles!

How Low Can You Go? The Cutting Height Debate

Amanda Grev, Pasture & Forage Specialist, University of Maryland Extension

When it comes to production of harvested forages like hay or baleage, stand decline is a common issue many producers face. Unfortunately, like most things there is no simple answer to eliminate issues with stand decline. Poor soil fertility, disease, temperature, moisture, and weed pressure are all things that can play a role...continue reading the article "How Low Can You Go? The Cutting Height Debate"

Check out one of our most recent videos!

Considerations for Selecting and Purchasing Hay

Many livestock owners rely on purchased hay to feed their animals during certain times of the year. When it comes to hay selection and purchase decisions, there are several important factors to consider, including bale type/size, affordability, and hay quality and quantity. This webinar will discuss what to look for, how to determine if hay is appropriate, and how to determine how much hay is needed. Watch video>>

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Agronomy News Blog

Maryland Beef Blog

Small Ruminant Research Blog