This week is National Forage Week and we’re celebrating by releasing part two of our special edition podcast series focusing in on the Indiana forage industry. Purdue Extension Forage Specialist Keith Johnson leads a discussion on the podcast about why forages are so important to livestock health and to the environment.
Ronnie Boehm, who has a grazing cow-calf operation on the Perry/Spencer County line in southern Indiana, explains why he enjoys working with forages.
“The forage is so much fun to work with. You can manicure it, you can do what you want with it, you can feed it, but the key thing is having the animals on the forage, getting the nutrient cycling going, and let Mother Nature really take advantage of the opportunities that that it can provide for you. It’s so much fun to go out there and walk amongst the cattle, move them to fresh grass. It’s just a really nice relationship to have with Mother Earth.”
Boehm says forages also contribute to soil health.
“There’s a lot of federal agencies and state agencies that are encouraging row crop farmers to plant cover crops because living roots in the soil 365 days a year feeds that biodiversity that’s below the soil surface. The traditional corn, soybeans dormant starves those critters that are living in the ground, but we provide food for those critters with our forages with the roots. We have forages that peak in the spring, some of them have warm seasons where they grow during the summer, and then we have a peak in the fall with our cool seasons, and then we can plant some forages that thrive in the wintertime. So, we provide a 365-day diet and food source for those critters that are living in the soil and then they reward us by helping our forages grow.”
Join Boehm, Johnson, and others as they celebrate National Forage Week on this special edition podcast from Hoosier Ag Today. You can find it now below and if you want more information about forage, visit indianaforage.org.