- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
- Forage crop
Walton, Peter D. Department of Plant Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Last reviewed:August 2021
- Plant groups
- Forage quality
- Plant health
- Pasture management
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any of the grasses and legumes that make up grasslands and are consumed by grazing livestock. Grasslands represent an ancient renewable natural resource. In general, grasslands form 25% of the world's vegetation and occupy the largest area of any single plant type. Significantly, grasslands benefit humanity indirectly by providing food—forage crops (Fig. 1)—for numerous wild animals and domesticated livestock. Many of these animals are ruminants, so they are able to digest fibrous forage material because their digestive systems contain microorganisms. Thus, the prime value of grassland areas lies in the meat, milk, or work produced by the livestock that graze on grassland forages. See also: Domestication; Grassland ecosystem
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