Pasture grasses are species that are cultivated as nutritious fodder for agricultural animals such as cattle, sheep, horses, and goats. These grasses are often grown in combination with fodder legumes to provide better nutrition for the livestock. The pasture foods may be eaten directly by the grazing animals, or they may be harvested, baled, dried, and used later as hay. In recent decades, there has been a great increase in the use of hay silage in which harvested pasture materials are stored under moist, oxygen-poor conditions for some time while microorganisms ferment some of the materials and develop a more nutritious product for the livestock.
Some of the pasture grasses that are commonly grown in North America include cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), timothy (Phleum pratense), meadow fox-tail (Alopecurus pratensis), and rye-grasses (Lolium perenne and L. multiflorum).
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