Forage is plant material (mainly plant leaves and stems) eaten by grazing
Grazing generally describes a type of feeding, in which a herbivore feeds on plants , and also on other multicellular autotrophs...

Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

Historically the term forage has meant only plants eaten by the animals directly as pasture
Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

, crop residue
Crop residue
There are two types of agricultural crop residues:Field residues are materials left in an agricultural field or orchard after the crop has been harvested. These residues include stalks and stubble , leaves, and seed pods...

, or immature cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 crops, but it is also used more loosely to include similar plants cut for fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

 and carried to the animals, especially as hay
Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

 or silage
Silage is fermented, high-moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as a biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters. It is fermented and stored in a process called ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including corn , sorghum or other cereals, using the entire...


While the term forage has a broad definition, the term forage crop is used to define crops, annual or biennal, which are grown to be utilized by grazing or harvesting as a whole crop.


  • Bentgrasses (Agrostis
    Agrostis is a genus of over 100 species belonging to the grass family Poaceae, commonly referred to as the bent grasses...

    • Common bentgrass (Agrostis capillaris
      Agrostis capillaris
      Agrostis capillaris is a rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial in the grass family . It is native to Eurasia and has been widely introduced in many parts of the world...

    • Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera
      Agrostis stolonifera
      Agrostis stolonifera is a perennial grass species in the Poaceae family. It is stoloniferous and may form mats or tufts...

  • Andropogon hallii
    Andropogon hallii
    Andropogon hallii is a sod forming perennial species in the grass family . It is a bunchgrass which grows in tufts and can reach 7 feet in height under favorable conditions.Sand bluestem is native to North America...

  • Brachiaria decumbens
  • Brachiara humidicola
  • Bothriochloa pertusa
  • Bothrioochloa bladhii
  • Heteropogon contortus
    Heteropogon contortus
    Heteropogon contortus is a tropical, perennial tussock grass with a native distribution encompassing Southern Africa, southern Asia, Northern Australia and Oceania. The species has also become a naturalised weed in tropical and subtropical regions in the Americas and East Asia. The plant grows to ...

  • Themeda triandra
    Themeda triandra
    Themeda triandra is a perennial grass widespread in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. In Australia it is commonly known as kangaroo grass, in East and South Africa it is known as "red oat grass" or red grass, in Afrikaans, rooigras.The species has a tuffted habit and can reach up to 1.5 m...

  • Guinea grass (Panicum maximum)
  • Cenchrus ciliaris
  • Melinis minutiflora
    Melinis minutiflora
    Melinis minutiflora, commonly known as molasses grass, is a species of grass. It has been weedy in Australia, where it has been introduced....

  • Setaria sphacelata
    Setaria sphacelata
    Setaria sphacelata is a species of grass known by the common name African bristlegrass. It is native to tropical Africa, but it is grown in many other areas as a forage for grazing livestock. It may also be planted to reduce the invasion of weeds. In some places it grows in the wild as a...

  • Chloris guyana
  • Cynodon dactylon
    Cynodon dactylon
    Cynodon dactylon , also known as Dūrvā Grass, Bermuda Grass, Dubo, Dog's Tooth Grass, Bahama Grass, Devil's Grass, Couch Grass, Indian Doab, Arugampul, Grama, and Scutch Grass, is a grass native to north and east Africa, Asia and Australia and southern Europe...

  • Paspalum dilatatum
    Paspalum dilatatum
    Paspalum dilatatum is a species of grass known by the common name dallisgrass. It is native to Brazil and Argentina, but it is known throughout the world as an introduced species and at times a common weed. Its rapid growth and spreading rhizomes make it an invasive pest in some areas...

  • Hyparrhenia rufa
  • Echinochloa pyrmaidalis
  • Leersia hexandra
  • Hymenachne amplexicaulis
  • Entolasia imbricata
  • Intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium
    Thinopyrum intermedium
    Thinopyrum intermedium is a sod-forming perennial grass. It is part of a group of plants commonly called wheatgrass because of the similarity of their seed heads or 'ears' to common wheat...

  • Bluegrasses or meadow-grasses (Poa
    Poa is a genus of about 500 species of grasses, native to the temperate regions of both hemispheres. Common names include meadow-grass , bluegrass , tussock , and speargrass. "Poa" is Greek for fodder...

    • Kentucky bluegrass or smooth meadow-grass (Poa pratensis)
    • Rough meadow-grass (Poa trivialis
      Poa trivialis
      Poa trivialis , is a perennial plant, and is regarded in the USA as an ornamental plant and is of the Poa family.-Description:...

    • Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera
      Poa arachnifera
      Texas bluegrass is a species of grass.-Hybridization with Kentucky bluegrass:During the 1990s, botanists began experimenting with producing hybrids of Texas bluegrass and Kentucky bluegrass for use as a drought-resistant lawn grass and wintering foraging plant for grazing livestock...

  • Bromegrass or brome (Bromus
    Bromus is a large genus of the grass family . Estimates in the scientific literature of the number of species have ranged from 100 to 400, but plant taxonomists currently recognize around 160–170 species...

  • False oat-grass (Arrhenatherum elatius
    Arrhenatherum elatius
    -Introduction:Arrhenatherum elatius, with the common names false oat-grass, tall oat-grass, tall meadow oat, onion couch and tuber oat-grass, is a perennial species of grass, common in the temperate regions of Europe....

  • Fescues (Festuca species):
    • Red fescue (Festuca rubra
      Festuca rubra
      Festuca rubra is a species of grass known by the common name red fescue. It is found worldwide and can tolerate many habitats and climates; it generally needs full sun to thrive...

    • Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis
      Festuca pratensis
      Festuca pratensis, the Meadow fescue, Festuca pratensis, the Meadow fescue, Festuca pratensis, the Meadow fescue, ( syn. Bromus pratensis (Huds.) Spreng., Bucetum pratense (Huds.) Parn., Festuca fluitans L. var. pratensis (Huds.) Huds., Festuca elatior L. subsp. pratensis (Huds.) Hack., Lolium...

    • Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea
      Festuca arundinacea
      Festuca arundinacea is a species of fescue commonly known as Tall fescue. It is a cool-season perennial C3 species of bunchgrass native to Europe. It is an important forage grass throughout Europe, and many cultivars have been used in agriculture...

  • Orchard grass or cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata
    Dactylis glomerata
    Dactylis glomerata, Cock's-foot and orchard grass, is a common species of grass in the genus Dactylis, native throughout most of Europe, temperate Asia, and northern Africa.-Distribution:...

  • Reed canary-grass (Phalaris arundinacea)
  • Ryegrasses (Lolium species):
    • Annual or Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum
      Lolium multiflorum
      Lolium multiflorum is a ryegrass native to temperate Europe, although the precise location of its origin is unknown....

    • Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne
      Lolium perenne
      Lolium perenne, common name Perennial Ryegrass, is a grass from the family Poaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but is widely cultivated and naturalised around the world.-Description:...

  • Timothy-grass or timothy (Phleum pratense)

Herbaceous Legumes

  • Stylosanthes scabra
  • Stylosanthes humilis
  • Chamaecrista rotundifolia
  • Macroptilium atropurpeum
  • Macroptilium bracteatum
  • Medicago truncatula
    Medicago truncatula
    Medicago truncatula is a small legume native to the Mediterranean region that is used in genomic research. It is a low-growing, clover-like plant 10–60 cm tall with trifoliate leaves. Each leaflet is rounded, 1–2 cm long, often with a dark spot in the center...

  • Glycine wightii
  • Clitoria ternatea
    Clitoria ternatea
    Clitoria ternatea is a plant species belonging to the Fabaceae family.- Distribution :This plant is native to tropical equatorial Asia, but has been introduced to Africa, Australia and America....

  • Arachis pintoi
    Arachis pintoi
    Arachis pintoi is a forage plant native to Cerrado vegetation in Brazil. It is native to the valleys of the upper São Francisco and the Jequitinhonha rivers of Brazil...

  • Vigna parkeri
  • Alfalfa or lucerne (Medicago sativa)
  • Bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus
    Lotus corniculatus
    Lotus corniculatus is a common flowering plant native to grassland temperate Eurasia and North Africa. The common name is Bird's-foot Trefoil , though the common name is often also applied to other members of the genus...

  • Clovers (Trifolium species):
    • Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum
      Trifolium hybridum
      Trifolium hybridum, alsike clover, is a plant species of the genus Trifolium in the pea family Fabaceae. The stalked, pale pink or whitish flower head grows from the leaf axils, and the trifoliate leaves are unmarked. The plant is tall, and is found in fields and on roadsides – it is also...

    • Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum)
    • Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
    • White clover (Trifolium repens)
  • Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia
    Onobrychis viciifolia
    Onobrychis viciifolia is a species of legume known by the common name sainfoin; other species in genus Onobrychis may be known by this name as well. Other common names for this species include esparcet and pipirigallo. This is a perennial herb which is native to Eurasia, but it is widely cultivated...

  • Sweetclover or melilot (Melilotus species)
  • Vetches (Vicia
    Vicia is a genus of about 140 species of flowering plants commonly known as vetches. It is in the legume family . Member species are native to Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa. Some other genera of their subfamily Faboideae also have names containing "vetch", for example the...

    • Common vetch or tare (Vicia sativa)
    • Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa)
    • Bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia)
    • Vicia articulata Hornem
    • Vicia narbonensis


Silage may be composed by one of the following
  • Corn
    Corn is the name used in the United States, Canada, and Australia for the grain maize.In much of the English-speaking world, the term "corn" is a generic term for cereal crops, such as* Barley* Oats* Wheat* Rye- Places :...

  • Alfalfa
    Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

  • Grass-legume mix
  • Sorghum
    Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

  • Oat
    The common oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name . While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed...


See also

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Forage fish
    Forage fish
    Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

  • Forage (honeybee)
    Forage (honeybee)
    For bees, their forage or food supply consists of nectar and pollen from blooming plants within flight range. The forage sources for honey bees are an important consideration for beekeepers. In order to determine where to locate hives for maximum honey production and brood one must consider the...

     can also refer to the plants that produce nectar, in the context of the animals that gather it, such as honeybees.
  • Foraging
    - Definitions and significance of foraging behavior :Foraging is the act of searching for and exploiting food resources. It affects an animal's fitness because it plays an important role in an animal's ability to survive and reproduce...

    , a method of finding food
  • Hunter-gatherers, humans who survive by foraging
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