High-quality forage fed to livestock in sufficient quantities will result in better production, higher quality, and increased livestock numbers. Forage quality include charactertistics of a forage that make it valuable to animals. Forage quality is the most significant factor affecting how much forage will be required per day and how much supplement will be required to meet animal requirements for growth, reproduction, and the production of meat, milk, wool, and work.

Forage quality can be measured a number of ways including visual (organoleptic) methods, chemical analysis, and feeding trials. Of the factors affecting forage quality, stage of maturity has the greatest influence. Chemical analyses help to look at specific constituents providing more information. Feed trials are probably the most accurate method but are time-consuming and expensive.

Thankfully, the quality of forages is most greatly influenced by how it is managed so the forage-livestock producer can do much to impact the results.