Producing high quality forage crops is exceedingly challenging in Vermont as climate change progresses with more precipitation, faster rates of precipitation, and higher annual temperatures (Faulkner, 2014). Organic farmers in the NE need reliable strategies for increasing quality forage production and decreasing risks associated with extreme weather events and pest outbreaks. Organic farmers who rely on pasture-based forage systems have reported challenges with meeting the dry matter and nutrient requirements of livestock due to short-term droughts and prolonged periods of soil wetness. Increasing forage crop diversity and integrating annual forage crops into perennial-based systems can help to increase forage reserves and protect against weather related crop stress, pest outbreaks, and feed price volatility. Although annual crops can have many benefits it is possible these systems can increase weed pressure and decrease soil health. The objectives of this trial were to compare soil quality, weed pressure, and yields of corn silage following annual or perennial based forage systems.


Vermont, University of Vermont, forages, perennials

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