Forages are nation's third most valuable crop

Forages are nation's third most valuable crop

National Forage Week is June 19-25. Purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of forages.

The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) is joining forces with the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC) to promote National Forage Week. National Forage Week is June 19-25.

The National Forage Week campaign is designed to raise awareness and educate the public about the role forages play in dairy and meat consumption, as well as the economic impact and environmental benefits they hold. As consumers become increasingly interested in where their food is sourced, how it is produced, and its role in the production of food and fiber, it is important to provide the type of information necessary to give them greater confidence in their food purchases.

Forages account for about 25% of the total value of U.S. agriculture and occupy about 50% of the total land area of the U.S. (Photo: brian brown/Thinkstock)

While forages represent the nation’s third most valuable field crop, trailing only corn and soybeans, very few are aware of the many benefits they hold. Forages account for about 25% of the total value of U.S. agriculture, occupy about 50% of the total land area of the U.S., and provide food and habitat for deer, antelope, upland birds, and hundreds of species of insects. Additionally, forages feed 109 million head of livestock in the U.S.

“Forage crops are some of the most environmentally friendly and economically important crops grown on our landscape today,” said Beth Nelson, president of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance. “Although forages tend to be underrecognized by the public at large, they play critical roles in livestock production, carbon sequestration, and reducing soil erosion, pesticide usage, and fertilizer application. National Forage Week is a great way to remind consumers about just how important forages are to their everyday lives.”

Source: National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance

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