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Contribution of Erythrina protein banks and rejected bananas for improving cattle production in the humid tropics

by Ibrahim, Muhammad; Holmann, F; Hernández, M; Camero, A.
Publisher: Ago 2000ISSN: 0167-4366.Subject(s): ERYTHRINA BERTEROANA | MUSA (BANANOS) | BANANOS | PASPALUM FASCICULATUM | AXONOPUS COMPRESSUS | SISTEMAS SILVOPASCICOLAS | PRODUCCION ANIMAL | GANADO | DIGESTIBILIDAD | EXPERIMENTACION IN VITRO | CONTENIDO DE MATERIA SECA | RAMONEO | ALIMENTACION DE LOS ANIMALES | PROTEINA BRUTA | SUPLEMENTOS | PRODUCTIVIDAD | NUTRICION ANIMAL | TROPICOS HUMEDOS | COSTA RICA In: Agroforestry Systems (Países Bajos) v. 49(3) p. 245-254Summary: In view of low pasture productivity in the Central American humid tropics where cattle rearing is a major land-use activity, its is important to examine the potential of alternative feed sources for ruminant feeding. Erythrina berteroana, locally known as poro, and green banana (Musa AAA) fruits have been identified as 2 such potential sources. The effects of feeding poro as a grazing supplement and diet supplementation with green banana fruits on cattle productivity were evaluated in a long-term trial (1993-94) in Costa Rica. Daily liveweight (LW) gains were measured and samples of all feed material were analysed for crude protein and in vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility. Pasture availability was high, averaging 0.17 t DM ha day-1 over the grazing period. The main grass species were Paspalum fasciculatum, Axonopus compressus and to a lesser extent African star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis). DM yields of poro (established as a protein bank in September 1991) declined significantly with time (> 50 percent) when it was managed with a 2-month resting period, but remained higher when subsequently managed with a 3-month resting period. Average daily LW gain of animals was 21 percent to 26 percent higher with 2 hours daily browsing of poro than for animals only grazing pasture. Highest liveweight gain was achieved when diets were supplemented with banana and there was no additional benefit when poro was fed in addition to banana. This suggests that fodder banks of poro or supplements with green banana can improve cattle nutrition in the humid tropics.
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In view of low pasture productivity in the Central American humid tropics where cattle rearing is a major land-use activity, its is important to examine the potential of alternative feed sources for ruminant feeding. Erythrina berteroana, locally known as poro, and green banana (Musa AAA) fruits have been identified as 2 such potential sources. The effects of feeding poro as a grazing supplement and diet supplementation with green banana fruits on cattle productivity were evaluated in a long-term trial (1993-94) in Costa Rica. Daily liveweight (LW) gains were measured and samples of all feed material were analysed for crude protein and in vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility. Pasture availability was high, averaging 0.17 t DM ha day-1 over the grazing period. The main grass species were Paspalum fasciculatum, Axonopus compressus and to a lesser extent African star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis). DM yields of poro (established as a protein bank in September 1991) declined significantly with time (> 50 percent) when it was managed with a 2-month resting period, but remained higher when subsequently managed with a 3-month resting period. Average daily LW gain of animals was 21 percent to 26 percent higher with 2 hours daily browsing of poro than for animals only grazing pasture. Highest liveweight gain was achieved when diets were supplemented with banana and there was no additional benefit when poro was fed in addition to banana. This suggests that fodder banks of poro or supplements with green banana can improve cattle nutrition in the humid tropics.

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