Forage educational programs add $13 million to Tennessee livestock and forage producers
Forages are grown on more than 3 million acres in Tennessee and impact more than 40,000 livestock operations across the state, generating almost $2 billion in revenue. Producers need research-based information on improved production practices to maintain economic and environmental sustainability.
University of Tennessee Extension conducted forage educational programs reaching over 37,000 direct contacts during 2019. These programs resulted in 72,000 acres being planted with clovers, 27,000 acres planted to warm-season grasses for summer forage production and 39,000 acres of tall fescue stockpiled to decrease winter feed costs. Over 229,000 acres of forage crops were treated to decrease weed pressure.|
The increase in forage profitability from these practices was significant. Based on data from research studies, the fertilizer savings from planting clovers was $2.1 million. The improved forage production from warm-season grasses is valued at a half-million dollars, while stockpiling tall fescue saved $1.5 million in feed costs. Weed control improved forage production by approximately $9 million. The total impact of the forage educational program is valued at $13 million.