Date of this Version
This NebGuide provides a worksheet to organize your forage inventory and properly allocate forages of different qualities to various groups of cows.
Importance of Forage Quality
Properly feeding high quality forage to the dairy herd improves the profitability of the dairy enterprise. A dairy herd demonstration program involving 28 herds in Nebraska illustrated the importance of feeding high quality forage. Herds which improved forage quality over the two-year program produced 30 percent more milk yearly, with over 8 percent less feed cost compared with those herds that failed to feed high quality forage. University of Wisconsin research indicates maximum milk production can only be achieved when excellent quality forage is fed. As forage quality declines, milk production typically falls even though more grain is fed.