Because there is geographical and climatological diversity, many different forages are utilized in the United States. In addition to the common forage species, there are many other crops that can be utilized as forages. Crops not usually associated with animal feed can be used at times as a part of a forage-livestock system and are called miscellaneous forages. They are used to extend a growing season, as emergency feed, weed control, and utilize the land during times when grasse and legume production subside.

Producers can often more fully utilize their labor, land, water, and growing resources by planting a miscellaneous forage. The normal production of cool-season forages show rapid spring growth, a drop in July and August with some renewed growth in October. There is a need for feed in the heat of summer and during the winter. Annual crops can be produced to provide nutritional feed during these times. Warm-season forage have a different growing season. They are not triggered to grow in the early spring but will become productive throughout the summer. Winter and early spring feed will be needed. Many producers use hay or silage for winter feed but miscellaneous forages can be helpful. The remains of crops such as corn or other grains can also entend the grazing season.

Although extending the grazing season may be the priority, many miscellaneous forages are very nutritious. Turnips, for example, are highly digestible, rich in carbohydrates, and a good source of energy. Kale can be high yielding, highly digestible, and a good source of vitamins, carotene, and protein.

Another way producers can utilize their land and resources is to take advantage of crop residues such as corn and other grains. This practice can provide maintenance feedstuff for non-producing livestock. Residues are, however, low in protein and high in fiber so some other procedures are used to improve their feed potential. With knowledge, crop residues can extend the grazing season and help with the cost of feeding livestock.

Miscellaneous forages and crop residues can be wisely used in a yearly feeding plan but they do have some disadvantages that should be considered.