The main difference between Forage and fodder is that the animal browses forage crops, whereas fodder crops are harvested and given to the animal.
Forage and fodder crops are two agricultural foodstuffs given to animals. They are important for feeding rabbits, cattle, chickens, horses, and pigs.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Forage Crops
– Definition, Types, Examples
2. What are Fodder Crops
– Definition, Types, Examples
3. Similarities Between Forage and Fodder Crops
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Forage and Fodder Crops
– Comparison of Key Differences
Fodder Crops, Forage Crops
What are Forage Crops
Forage crops are plant material grazed by livestock. Importantly, animals eat these crops directly as food. Therefore, they can be pasture, crop residues, and immature cereal crops. In comparison, fodder crops are carried to the animals. Significantly, they can be hay or silage. However, forage crops can be either annual or biennial grown for grazing or harvesting as a whole crop.
Moreover, grasses, herbaceous legumes, tree legumes, silage, aquatic feeds, and crop residues are forage crops. Grass forage includes common bentgrass, sand bluestem, hurricane grass, buffelgrass, fescues, jaragua, kangaroo grass, etc. Herbaceous legumes include pinto peanut, butterfly-pea, purple bush bean, burgundy bean, stylo, clovers, vetches, and creeping vagina. Tree legumes include mulga, silk trees, Belmont siris, ear pod tree, lebbeck, and lead tree. Silage includes oats, alfalfa, corn, sorghum, and grass-legume mix. In addition, aquatic feeds include duckweed, water lettuce, water hyacinth, fern, and water spinach. Crop residues include sorghum, sweet potato vines, soybean, and corn.
What are Fodder Crops
Fodder crops are agricultural foodstuffs that feed livestock such as sheep, rabbits, cattle, pigs, horses, and chickens. They are cut, dried, processed, and carried to animals. Fodder types include hay, silage, straw, compressed and pelleted feeds, sprouted grains, legumes, oils, and mixed rations. Examples of fodder crops include sorghum, millet, Pennisetum, lablab, soybeans, cowpeas, maize, and grain sorghum. Significantly, hay is a form of preserved Forage made up of grass that has been mown and dried for use as fodder. The moisture content of fresh grass is around 80%. So, the dry matter (DM) value is 20% or less. The cut forage is subjected to drying itself to have a moisture level of 12%. Also, the DM value of grass becomes 88%. Finally, the hay is baled. The baled hay is heavy due to its high moisture content.
Moreover, silage is another form of preserved Forage; it contains grass compacted and stored in airtight conditions in a silo without being dried first. In addition to grass, silage can also be made of other green fodder. The wilted or fresh grass is packed, forming an anaerobic environment. On that account, the ensiling process allows the natural sugars of grass to be fermented by the activity of microbes. Fermentation of water-soluble carbohydrates results in organic acids such as lactic acid and acetic acid. As acids accumulate within the packed Forage, the pH of the mixture drops until it becomes unfavorable for the growth of microbes. At this point, the Forage is ready for storage. Generally, the process takes around 21 days to be completed. The bales are wrapped in plastic to prevent air from entering.
Similarities Between Forage and Fodder Crops
- Forage and fodder crops are two crops used to feed animals.
- They are processed in different ways.
Difference Between Forage and Fodder Crops
Forage crops refer to crops grown specifically to be grazed by livestock, while fodder crops refer to cultivated plant species that are utilized as livestock feed.
The animal browses forage crops, while fodder crops are harvested and given to the animal.
Forage crops are fresh, while fodder crops are cut, dried, and processed.
Alfalfa, soybean, rye, maize, oat, grasses, wheat, barley, and white clover are examples of forage crops, while sorghum, millet, Pennisetum, lablab, soybeans, cowpeas, maize, and grain sorghum are examples of fodder crops.
In brief, forage and fodder crops are used as agricultural foodstuffs. Forage crops are fresh crops grazed by animals for food. Also, they include Alfalfa, soybean, rye, maize, oat, grasses, wheat, barley, and white clover. In comparison, fodder crops are cut, dried, and processed plants used for animal food. Examples of fodder crops include Sorghum, millet, Pennisetum, lablab, soybeans, cowpeas, maize, and grain sorghum. Therefore, the main difference between forage and fodder crops is their properties.
- Fodder and forage. Fodder Farm. (2022, November 15). https://fodderfarm.co.nz/fodder-and-forage/#:~:text=What%20is%20the%20difference%20between,while%20still%20on%20the%20land.