ANIMAL FACTS 70 BILLION POUNDS OF MEAT PER YEAR 190 TRILLION POUNDS OF DAIRY PRODUCTS PER YEAR
FORAGE FACTS 60 MILLION ACRES OF HAY 81 MILLION ACRES OF CORN SOME OF THE CORN IS CORN SILAGE 100s of Millions of Acres of Grass
STATECROPYIELD RANGE AlfalfaOklahoma7.9 to 9.4 tons/a Corn SilageOklahoma22.1 to 34.2 tons/a GrazingTexas 2.25 to 2.84 pounds/day HayTexas4.7 to 10.8 tons/a Perennial Warm- Season Grass Georgia 6,398, to 23,177 lbs/a Mississippi 2,675 to 14,102 lbs/a North Carolina1,640 to 7,890 lbs/a
CROPSTATEYIELD RANGE Perennial warm- season grass Texas8,267 to 10,989 lbs/a Sorghum SilageTexas11.7 to 26.1 tons/a Winter Annual Small Grain Alabama3100 to 4800 lbs/a Texas3500 to 5700 lbs/a North Carolina4791 to 8712 lbs/a FescueNorth Carolina4568 to 7347 lbs/a
Undersander ( 1992) stated ” … in spite of the great benefits of variety testing and interest of farmers in results, university administrators in many states have been unwilling to give professional credit or financial support for running the trials. Unless this trend is reversed, fewer variety trials will be conducted in the future.”
1996 FORAGE TESTING SURVEY CONDUCTED BY UNIV. OF KENTUCKY 60 RESPONSES BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ALFALFA WAS THE NUMBER ONE TESTED FORAGE CORN SILAGE WAS NUMBER TWO
PUBLIC VARIETY TESTING PROGRAMS OTHER THAN FORAGE VARIETY TESTING THESE PROGRAMS DEPEND ON FUNDS GENERATED BY CHARGING PRIVATE COMPANIES FOR ENTRIES THESE FUNDS OFTEN PAY FOR ALL THE OPERATING COSTS AND SOMETIMES EVEN SALARIES
FORAGE VARIETY TESTING PROGRAMS FVT ARE DIFFERENT MULTIPLE HARVESTS QUALITY ANALYSES SOME REQUIRE MUTLIPLE YEARS OF TESTING SEED COMPANIES ONLY SELL SEED FOR SOME FORAGE CROPS EVERY 5 YEARS
EXTERNAL FUNDING Seeking funds from granting agencies is practically nonexistent for forage variety testing. The beef producers and the dairy farmer groups generally do not fund forage variety testing.
WHERE IS THE FUNDING GOING TO COME FROM? For unbiased variety testing of forages to exist then public institutions must support those programs. Some of the operating funds can be secured from the private seed companies, but a major portion of the budget will have to come from the university.
COOPERATIVE TESTING EVERY STATE DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE THEIR OWN FORAGE TESTING PROGRAM THAT COVERS ALL FORAGES THE LACK OF A STRONG VARIETY X LOCATION INTERACTION SHOULD ALLOW ADJOINING STATES TO SHARE DATA
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? THIS GROUP, IF AGREEABLE, WOULD SIGN THIS PAPER AND IT WOULD BE SENT TO THE RESPECTIVE AG EXPERIMENT STATION DIRECTORS SUGGESTIONS ON REVISING THE PAPER ARE WELCOME