Cattle on native grass Alan Newport
A grassland that's healthy and full of mycorrhizal fungi will be more productive and provide forage that's more nutrient dense for livestock.

2017's No. 3 story: A fungus you really need

Efficient beef production is actually dependent on an organism known as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and you can manage for more of it.

Here's the third most-popular story in our review of the top five stories on the Beef Producer website in 2017.

If you missed these top stories, here's your chance to read them. If you read them and liked them previously, here's your chance to read them again.

The No. 3 post in popularity this year was "The fungus that keeps on giving," on May 17.

It was an important story about soil health and the growing knowledge about one of the most important soil builders, an organism known as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF).

We explained, "Efficient beef production is utterly dependent on an organism known as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) because 90% or more of all forage plants can't really survive, and certainly cannot thrive, without this curious symbiotic organism. Put simply, your grass needs fungus.

"This relationship is well worth understanding because it can be managed and improved, thereby improving soil health, animal health, and the overall productivity of a rancher wise enough to make those improvements."

AMF increase and improve the interface between plants and soil microbiology, dramatically improving the production of both. But traditional set-stock grazing is damaging to plant roots and therefore to AMF. It requires improved management.

You can read this important story here.

A related story that provides more information about managing for AMF is at this link.

We also carried a third story about the new businesses that sell AMF inoculants. Read it here.

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