What is Forage Quality?

Forage quality is the ability of pasture or a harvested forage to produce a desired livestock response.  Specific levels of forage quality are required for different classes of livestock, seasons and conditions.  In Montana, forage quality is critical for winter diets of bred or lactating livestock, during spring and summer for fast gains and breeding, and in the fall for continuous gains of replacement females.  Slight adjustments in grazing or hay management can pay be very effective in improving forage quality and animal performance.