The Midwest Forage Association’s (MFA) board of directors recently distributed a record $13,224 to fund six forage-related research projects through its Midwest Forage Research Program (MFRP), reports Beth Nelson, president.

The MFRP was begun in 2007 in response to a member survey that revealed that forage-related research was the No. 1 priority among members. Since its inception, the program has distributed over $53,000 to research projects across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, says Nelson.

In December, MFA distributed its request for proposals to forage agronomists and Extension personnel at the land-grant universities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The request was for one-year, forage related research proposals that specifically addressed one or more of MFA’s research priorities. Nine proposals were submitted, requesting more than $33,000.

The funded proposals and researchers are:

  1. On-Farm Evaluation of Alfalfa-Grass Mixtures, Paul Peterson, University of Minnesota;
  2. Fall Harvest Management of Alfalfa Varieties with Different Fall Dormancies, Marisol Berti, North Dakota State University;
  3. Evaluating Twin-Row Corn Silage Production, Kevin Jarek, University of Wisconsin;
  4. Wisconsin Alfalfa Yield and Persistence Project, Mike Rankin, University of Wisconsin;
  5. Does the Use of a Foliar Fungicide Improve Alfalfa Forage Production?, Paul Esker, University of Wisconsin;
  6. Alfalfa Fertilization, Ted Bay, University of Wisconsin.

Money distributed by MFA represents full funding or partial funding in cases where the researcher was able to leverage other matching funds to complete the project, says Nelson.
“The MFRP is integral in maintaining an infrastructure intended to address the priority research needs of MFA’s forage producers,” she says. “It is hoped that, with continued focus on the benefits and results of these projects, both funding and participation in the program will continue to grow.”