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Pasture (grass) feeding for cattle

16 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • FEBRUARY- MARCH 2018

O

ver the past year, the Jamaica Dairy Development Board established several hundred acres of improved pasture grass on farms throughout the island. These grass varieties include Mulato 11, Mombasa and Cayman Grass. The grasses were established mainly across dairy clusters in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth Pasture grazing is the natural means of feeding cattle. Cattle and other ruminants do well when fed quality forage. Supplementation with grains and minerals support increased production of both meat and milk. Pasture Management Tips

• Pasture is the most abundant and cheapest feed for cattle.

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CAYMAN GRASS: With a tillered growth habit, the Cayman grass produces abundant stolons. Cayman grass provides the following: more meat, more milk with enhanced nutritional quality; higher stocking rate; highly palatable; stoloniferous growth; tolerant to drought; resistant to diseases and pests and also resistant to moist soils.

• Well managed pastures can supply cattle with most of the necessary nutrition and energy.

• By grazing lush grassland, cattle take in adequate protein, energy, vitamins and minerals (unless soils are very low in certain important trace minerals). • Quality of pasture depends on a number of factors, including: - Type of plants grown - Level of maturity of plants at harvest - Adequate moisture during growth - Soil fertility - Fertilization

MOMBASA GRASS: The grass is a tall grass, similar to hybrid Napier grass in habit, but far more leafy and is very suitable for cut-and-carry. It is a very productive leafy grass, producing between 20 and 40 t/ha dry matter per year. Mombasa can be either rotationally grazed or set stocked. Management depends on the farmer’s experience.

For further information contact:

JAMAICA DAIRY DEVELOPMENT BOARD Hope Gardens, Kingston 6 Tel: (876) 618-7107 • Fax (876) 977-9230 • Email: dairyboard@micaf.gov.jm

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The Agriculturalist - February-March 2018  

The Agriculturalist is the trusted source of news and information for an estimated 200,000 readers. Audience of mainly farmers, farmers lead...

The Agriculturalist - February-March 2018  

The Agriculturalist is the trusted source of news and information for an estimated 200,000 readers. Audience of mainly farmers, farmers lead...

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