Grass is the most common crop ensiled in the world, followed by corn and alfalfa. Much of the cropland in the Northeast is better suited to perennial grass production than to legumes or row crop production [GIS-1]. Grasses also have advantages when it comes to nutrient management. Compared to alfalfa, grasses have a greater response to manure, which can be applied multiple times during the season. Grasses use large quantities of nutrients, minimizing the risk of nutrient leaching or runoff. They can remove over twice the nitrogen per acre compared to corn. Grasses also can increase soil structure and organic matter, enhancing long term productivity [GIS-3].
The Northeast USA is better suited to perennial grass production than to legumes or row crop production.