The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) is pleased to be joining forces with the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC) to promote National Forage Week, an effort to raise awareness of the importance and impact of forages. National Forage Week is scheduled for June 19-25.
The National Forage Week campaign is designed to raise awareness and educate the public about the role forages play in dairy and meat consumption, as well as the economic impact and environmental benefits they hold. As consumers become increasingly interested in where their food is sourced, how it is produced, and its role in the production of food and fiber, it is important to provide the type of information necessary to give them greater confidence in their food purchases.
While forages represent the nation's 3rd most valuable field crop, trailing only corn and soybeans, very few are aware of the many benefits they hold. Forages account for about 25 percent of the total value of U.S. agriculture, occupy about 50 percent of the total land area of the U.S., and provide food and habitat for deer, antelope, upland birds, and hundreds of species of insects. Additionally, forages feed 109 million head of livestock in the U.S. (more than the combined population of the top four most populated states of California, Texas, Florida and New York).
"Forage crops are some of the most environmentally friendly and economically important crops grown on our landscape today," said Beth Nelson, President of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance. "Although forages tend to be under-recognized by the public at large, they play critical roles in livestock production, carbon sequestration, and reducing soil erosion, pesticide usage, and fertilizer application. National Forage Week is a great way to remind consumers about just how important forages are to their everyday lives."