Explore alternative forage cropping systems

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The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program recently released a fact sheet on a continuous-cover dairy forage system and its impacts on soil health, profitability, and farm resiliency.

In a SARE-funded study in New York, a cooperative team of farmers, researchers and consultants addressed labor, weather and feed-cost constraints in dairy farm rotations by developing an alternative forage cropping system with multiple options to produce high-quality forages.

The system—Alternative Continuous-Cover Forage (ACCF)— is designed to produce high-quality dairy cattle forage with yields comparable to traditional cropping systems, and is based on soil health management, as opposed to traditional crop rotation without the use of cover crops.

One farmer increased net income $531 per acre after implementing the alternative continuous-cover forage (ACCF) system.

The fact sheet is called Alternative Continuous-Cover Dairy Forage System for Profitability, Flexibility and Soil Health.

Source: Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center Newsletter, March 2013

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