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Preparations for Planting Forages for Animal Feed

Planning the Procurement of Planting Materials

Now that you have selected the right forage species for your soil and climate, you can start sourcing your planting materials.

Grasses as well as Arachis, Kakawate and Tricanthera can be reproduced more easily from vegetative materials, as seeds are often difficult to find and collect

Vegetative materials include rooted tillers for grasses and stem cuttings for broadleaves. Grasses like Paspalum are easier to propagate from rooted tillers. Guinea grass are also expanded from rooted tillers.


Most broadleaves can only be planted from seed. Seeds are often available only at certain times of the year making forage planting using seeds slow.

If you want to establish forages from seeds, you will need:
  • 3-5kg/ha for Guinea, Gamba, Paspalum, Humidicola, Desmanthus, Rensonii, Stylo, Ipil-ipil, Diversifolia and Calliandra
  • 6-10kg/ha for Centro
The number of vegetative materials you need for every 10 meter row will be as follows:
  • 20 pcs for grasses and shrubs, as they are planted 0.5m apart
Hence if your area is rectangular, you can calculate the number of planting materials by:
  • Length (m) x width of area (m) x 4
If you have an area that measures 50m x 2m like this:
Width = 2m
Length = 50m

You will need 400 vegetative planting materials.

This is computed using the formula,
Length (m) x width of area (m) x 4,
where Length = 50m and Width =2m

For tree species, you will need to plant 10 pieces every 10 m row, as planting distance is 1 m between hills and rows.

Hence the number of planting materials in a rectangular area can be computed as :

Length (m) x width of area (m)

To have an allowance for replanting, add 30% to the planting materials you have computed.  Plant these in a separate, well-watered and protected area.

Using the same sample area that measures 50m x 2m like this:
Width = 2m
Length = 50m

You will need 100 pieces of planting materials if you are planting tree species.

Collecting Forage Planting Materials

Once you have identified the species and the amount of planting materials needed, you can start sourcing them

Remember that seeds can only be collected seasonally. You can however store them for a considerable period of time

You must collect planting materials only from the best source (mother plant, pod or seedhead) and only at the optimum stage of maturity/ripeness.

You have to clean and dry the seeds upon collection. Winnowing is a practical way of cleaning seeds before drying and storage. Dry seeds adequately (like rice or corn seeds) before storing them.

You should also clean vegetative materials and protect them from damage

Large amounts of forage planting materials are not easy to find in the Philippines due to lack of a formal market; hence you have to book your orders early to be sure of availability

You can inquire from the nearest Department of Agriculture offices and agricultural colleges or universities for information on sources of these materials

Check out the list of sources at right to know where in your area you can find the forages you need.

Sources of forage planting materials
You can contact the following agencies and organizations for forage planting materials:

Region 1
  • Alaminos City Veterinarian's Office, Alaminos, Pangasinan c/o Ed Serna, AT
  • Municipal Agriculture Office-Balungao, Pangasinan c/o Marilyn Lilagan, AT
Region 2
  • Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CVIARC), DA-RFU2, Upi, Gamu, Isabela
  • Cagayan Valley Upland Research Outreach Station, Department of Agriculture RFU 2, Dungo, Aglipay, Quirino
Region 3
  • Small Ruminant Center, Central Luzon State University. Munoz, Nueva Ecija. Tel. (63-44) 456-0968
National Capital Region
  • Research Division, Bureau of Animal Industry. Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. Tel: (63-2) 9204796
Region 7
  • Mag-uugmad Foundation, Inc. (MFI), Ted Manreza Bldg., F. Ramos St., Cebu City. Tel: (63-32) 4125617
  • Ubay Stock Farm, Lumangog, Ubay, Bohol. Tel: (038) 518-5598
Region 8
  • Department of Agriculture RFU-8, Tacloban City. Tel: (053) 321-2024
Region 10
  • Local Government Unit - Municipal Agriculture Office, Malitbog, Bukidnon 8513
  • Local Government Unit - Municipal Agriculture Office, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
  • Malaybalay Stock Farm, Department of Agriculture RFU 10, Dalwangan, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Tel: (088) 856-2755
  • Cagayan de Oro City Veterinary Office, Cagayan de Oro City. Tel: (32 8822) 724118
  • Department of Agriculture RFU 10, A. Luna St., Cagayan de Oro City. Tel: (63-8822) 727403/ 726474
Region 12
  • Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC), Bansalan, Davao del Sur. Tel: (082) 300-8840

Handling Forage Planting Materials

To ensure that your forage planting materials can grow when planted, you should handle them properly.

Seeds. Store seeds in a clean, cool and dry place. Keep them free of dirt and immature seeds. Keep them in waterproof, airtight containers to avoid spoilage.

Regularly check your stored seed.  When seeds feel hot when touched, take them   out and dry them

An emergence test should be conducted for both scarified and unscarified seeds one month before these are planted.  To ensure that the seeds you plant will germinate properly, do an EMERGENCE test one month before planting.  Follow these simple steps:
  1. Randomly select 100 seeds from your seedlot
  2. Sow the seeds in the soil
  3. Keep them adequately protected and watered
One week after the seeds have sprouted, count how many have germinated. This corresponds to percentage emergence of your seeds.   The ideal percentage emergence is at least 40%

If you do emergence test for broadleaf seeds, include another 100 seeds that are scarified either by:

  • Soaking in a mixture of 1 part tap water : 1 part boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Scarify the seed coat using sandpaper or any abrasive material to facilitate emergence of the new plant.  watch video
  • Do not scarify grass seeds, as their thin seed coat may be damaged

Vegetative materials 
Keep vegetative materials cool, moist and free from damage (breakage, peeled stem/bark). Vegetative planting materials need to be protected from damage.  You can keep them in sacks or in baskets while not yet in use.

Plant them within five days from collection.

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