By Maggie Lawrence
From the minds that brought you Beef Basics comes a groundbreaking chapter in the world of online learning. Forage Basics is the newest online course from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and serves as a valuable new tool to Alabama’s livestock and forage producers.
The First Of Its Kind
Forage Basics is the first course to provide targeted information about forage production and management in the Southeast.
Leanne Dillard, the project leader and an Alabama Extension forage specialist, said more than 750,000 acres were harvested for hay in Alabama in 2020.
“Increased interest and demand from non-traditional farmers over the last 10 years led us to create Forage Basics,” Dillard said. “However, experienced producers will benefit from this course just as much as new producers.”
Dillard said there is no cost because the team wants to ensure uninhibited access to the course and its resources.
About The Course
Made possible in part by a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Group, Forage Basics puts everything from grazing management to pest control into producers’ hands.
Alabama Extension professionals from multiple disciplines within the Auburn University College of Agriculture collaborated to develop the 20-chapter course. Each chapter includes short videos, as well as lists of important resources. Short quizzes reinforce key content from each chapter. Topics covered include:
* forage grasses
* forage legumes and forbs
* grazing management
* hay production, storage and feeding
* quality and nutritive value
* silage and baleage production, storage and feeding
* weed and insect management
After finishing the course, participants receive a certificate of completion.
“Forage use and management techniques are closely tied to location,” Dillard said. “An online course focused on improving forages in the Southeast will enable producers to improve not just their forage and hay production, but their farm’s bottom line, as well.”
Focusing On Innovation
Alabama Extension Director Mike Phillips said the Forage Basics course will be a key element of Extension’s future livestock and forage education efforts.
“Our grassroots surveys over the years have shown that many of our livestock producers really want to access research-based information electronically,” Phillips said. “Forage Basics and our other online courses make it possible for livestock producers to learn from us on their own schedule and at their own pace.”
To learn more about this exciting adventure or to enroll in the course, visit aces.edu/go/foragebasics. More information on the Forage Basics companion course, Beef Basics, is available at aces.edu.