Forage & Cover Crops Variety Trials

The most convenient and economical approach in utilizing forages is to develop a year-round grazing program. Research is conducted on agricultural topics pertinent to the diverse Mississippi's ecosystem and the southern U.S. The research effort of the MSU forage team uses innovative science to identify problems, provide solutions, and develop technologies that benefit the forage-livestock community across the state. The research effort addresses hay and pasture for livestock, as well as conservation issues, such as water quality, plant diversity, ground cover and wildlife habitat. The reach goal is to improve the economic and environmental status of the state's forage and grassland agriculture. The degree to which research programs are developed is dependent on the adapted forage species, specific livestock enterprise, soil type, geographic area of the state, management skills, time, and economic feasibility. MSU Forage research program focus on four core areas:

  1. Reducing winter feed costs: Stockpiled forages, winter annual forages, rotational grazing, and supplemental feeding based on hay quality.

  2. Variety testing: Year-round variety testing is done across four geographic areas of the state with different forage species including annual ryegrass, tall fescue, forage sorghums, teffgrass, crabgrass, bahiagrass, bermudagrass, alfalfa, small grains, forage mixes, brassicas, native grasses and bioenergy crops.

  3. Nutrient management and soil quality: Nutrient use efficient of different fertilizer sources (including poultry litter) in forage production and quality and nitrogen replacement by different clover species.

  4. Hay production management: Cutting frequency, nutrient removal, hay quality, hay storage and hay utilization efficiency.

Hay Baleage Demonstration at White Sand

Baleage Drone Footage

Berry Mobley, Greenpoint Ag

Brett Rushing, MSU

The Forage Variety Trials are conducted by Forage Variety testing manager Joshua White.

For more information related to Forage Variety Testing and Forage Research at Mississippi State University