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Species Selection Program

This species selection program was developed to provide recommendations for perennial forage species in New York State (and PA), based on soil type and intended forage use through a web interface. Forage species uses include both pasture and stored feed for different livestock classes, as well as soil conservation uses. A database was developed that contains potential yields for over 30 species and over 40 species mixtures on over 600 agricultural soil types in New York State. The database has potential forage yields based on native soil drainage as well as yields for optimal artificial drainage. Potential yields are adjusted by the program based on soil pH and the optimal pH range for each forage species. Species are recommended based on potential yield, intended forage use and soil type.

The program also provides pasture yield distributions, a summary of species traits and potential corn grain and silage yields for a selected soil type. A subroutine based on basic soil characteristics and location (zip code) allows the program to estimate the soil type, if the soil type is not known. Computer-based species recommendations agree with current published recommendations. Although the soil type - species yield relationships will not apply directly to other regions of the world, the method utilized to develop the database could be used to create similar species selection programs for other regions.