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JAnMA I CA
RIEPORTT OF WORKING GROUP
ON FORAG~E RESEARICHI
REPORT OF WORKING GROUP ON FORAGE RESEARCH IN JAMAICA
Prepared in compliance with a
recommendation of meeting of Livestock
Production Research Advisory Committee of
the Research Advisory Council of the
Jamaica Agricultural Researach Progrmme
held on March 29, 1988.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. Background Information
3. Review of Pasture Research
4. Priorities for Research
5. Topics Relating to Research Priorities
6. Suggested Areas for Development of Project Proposals
I. Catalogue of Natural and Imnproved Grasses and
Legumes in Jamaica
II. Itinerary of Activities
III. Persons Interviewed by Working Group
Priorities for Forage Research in Jamaica
During late June 1988, in keeping with the terms of reference
governing their mission a Working Group of five presented proposals
for priority research in forage production and management in Jamaica
over the medium term.
These were made after a review of the available documentation on
local pasture research during the last three decades in which forage
research had been done. With the emphasis placed on more effective
development and exploitation of forage resources in Jamaica by
ruminant livestock especially cattle, ecozones of Jamaica and the
livestock production practices were considered and a series of farm
visits made to these areas. Current animal/forage production and
management systems were observed and discussed and the farmers asked
to identify forage related problems.
Based on these inputs and careful appraisal of the problems and
issues the following priorities for research are identified:
-Forage for the stress period
-Integrating legumes into forage systems
-Increasing quality and quantity of herbage and
-Introduction and evaluation of forages.
In order to try to secure the additional feed for the stress
period various approaches are to be investigated such as
establishment of fodder banks, stockpiling, fodder conservation, and
use of farm by-products.
For integration of legumes, investigation of grass/legume
mixtures using compatible herbaceous legumes found in past research
and perhaps a few recent releases is suggested, as well as alley
cropping with gliricidia or leuceana in combination with pasture,
stockpiling, the cut and carry of grass and legume, and
establishment of protein banks.
Increased forage quality and quantity should be sought thro'
experimentation to establish realistic and cost effective fertilizer
practices, the strategic use of irrigation for production of quality
forage and the use of creep grazing for growing stock.
In proposing introduction and evaluation of forages emphasis is
on a selection from new genera and cultivars recognized in the last
ten years. These have been listed and evaluation at several
locations proposed to determine acceptability, persistence etc, to
be quickly followed by testing in commercial operations.
Topics related to priority research
In considering these priorities for forage research, the need
for investigations based on farmer-oriented problems, and designed
to impact at farm level in the short term, is emphasized, whether
conducted on-farm or on-station. The knowledge of published
information from comparable agro-economic regions would be an
invaluable input into the research design.
It is observed that staff shortage will probably necessitate use
of some oversea expertise but determined efforts to improve the
local supply of specialists through measures to advance status and
recognition together with continuing efforts at advanced training
The need to provide for more systematic and effective production
and distribution of seeds and cultivars is underlined.
Suggested Areas for Development of Project Proposals
Based on the research priorities and related topics the
following areas for project proposals were identified:-
i. The trial of leuceana and gliricidia and king grass as
protein and fodder banks on small farms, in cut and carry
systems for dry season feeding.
ii. The promotion of commercial haymaking probably involving an
enterprise with experience of large scale haymaking,
(inclusive of supporting trials on conventional and
modified techniques), and determination of data on cost of
production and feeding quality.
iii. Comparative studies on cost/benefit of hay vs silage. The
problem of assuring quality of silage in the tropics was
iv. Increased animal output/unit of land by application of
v. Trial of several methods of establishing gliricidia and
leucaena on various soil types and rainfall regions.
vi. Evaluation of grass and legume cultivars by agronomic
evaluation of selected grasses and legumes in different
ecological zones and the concurrent or consecutive use of
animals to supply output data.
vii. Nitrogen fertilizer response on selected perennial grasses
viii. Diagnostic studies to characterize feeding systems on small
farms (to facilitate more valid interventions and
Finally under Other Considerations two proposals are
-the use of rumen modifiers and ionophores for beef cattle
in feedlot and on pasture to improve feed efficiency; and
-the possibility of commercial production in Jamaica of
seed of Bahia grass and of a few promising perennial
legumes, for the U.S. market.
PRIORITIES IN FORAGE RESEARCH IN JAMAICA
Jamaica's ruminant livestock industry developed over a period
of some 80 years is now so structured that new entrants in the
primary productive phase are limited because their projects are
non-viable or at best marginally viable. This is attributed to
increased costs of inputs without commensurate increase in product
price, inadequate services to the industry, failure to manipulate
fully the existing systems to increase productivity, and the absence
in recent times of an active pasture research programme that could
point the farmers in the direction of increased efficiency. This is
common to beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goat enterprises.
There is a crying need to evaluate management systems that
will improve the cost/benefit ratio of livestock operations and
improve viability. One area where improvements can be effected is
in the use of pastures. Unfortunately in recent times pasture
research has not kept up with the demands of farmers, many of whom
are endeavouring to find the answers for themselves without the
capability of doing so. For the various reasons outlined above the
Livestock Production Research Advisory Committee of the Research
Advisory Council (RAC) to the Jamaica Agricultural Research
Programme (JARP) decided to establish an appropriately constituted
working group to:
"review and assess the current situation in Jamaica, with
respect to pasture research, and synthesize a programme of
priority research for the medium term."
- 2 -
The working group selected after consultation with livestock
industry authorities was as follows:
Mr. M. Motta Pasture Specialist/Consultant
Dr. L. Crowder, Pasture Agronomist University of Florida
Dr. R. Kalmbacker "University of Florida
Dr. I. Whittaker Pasture Specialist/Consultant
Dr. L. McLaren Animal Nutritionist & Convener
The group made a tour of research stations and visited a
cross-section of farms throughout Jamaica where information on
current pasture management systems utilized by farmers, and their
problems was obtained (see Appendix 1).
- 3 -
Production and Population
The important subsectors of Jamaica's livestock industry are dairy,
beef, poultry, pigs, sheep and goats. Annual production from the meat
enterprises indicates that poultry is the main contributor followed by
beef, fish, pork, mutton and goat's flesh (See Table 1).
DOMESTIC MEAT PRODUCTION (Million lb)
YEAR BEEF PORK MUTTON POULTRY FISH TOTAL
1981 26.04 16.59 2.66 64.72 17.17 127.18
1982 26.93 16 .02 2.04 58.65 17.83 121.65
1983 30.99 14.56 2.27 72.01 18.22 137.85
1984 33.02 15.76 3.59 65.46 21.12 138.95
1985 29.85 16.01 3.44 51.14 19.13 119.57
Source: Livestock and feed statistics, MINAG, 1974 84
March 84 1985
Milk production from dairy cattle averaged 42 million quarts per
annum over the period 1981 1985.
Whereas an analysis of official statistics indicates that poultry
and pork production have achieved reasonable levels of self sufficency,
beef is only 80% self sufficient while mutton (goat's flesh) is
approximately 70%. Milk production on the other hand is only 18%.
There is therefore tremendous scope for increased domestic production
for the three ruminant groups.
The current estimated population for these ruminant groupings
is as follows:
Sheep and Goat 260,000
A small percentage of the goats are milked.
For dairy and beef, non leguminous pasture provides the main
source of feed. For goats this is supplemented or replaced by
browse (which varies widely in composition and quality). Milking
dairy animals are supplemented with concentrate fed at varying
levels. Production of this concentrate is dependent on imported
corn and soya.
Feedlot fattening of weaners and stockers is practised by a
small number of medium to large scale operators utilizing systems
ranging from semi-intensive to intensive and relying mainly on local
by-products such as Brewer's grains, wheat middlings, citrus pulp
and molasses for concentrate.
As a consequence of soil moisture limitations for varying
periods of the year and dormancy of most of the improved pasture
species during the "winter" months the availability of herbage
becomes a serious constraint to production during these periods.
Conservation of surplus fodder for use in these periods is a
rarity and farmers respond to these stress periods by adopting a low
stocking rate that can be comfortably carried, and by manipulating
the breeding season so that weaners are removed prior to the
period. While such stocking rates may be adequate to maintain the
viability of ongoing projects with limited debt burden, they cannot
sustain start-up projects.
For beef the majority of farmers operate a cow-calf operation,
selling all weaners produced except for those required as
replacement heifers. An open or closed breeding season may be
practised. A few farmers proceed to the next step of fattening
their weaners while a still smaller number operate specialist
feedlots purchasing and fattening weaners from other farmers.
Commercial dairy production is based on twice a day milking and
the raising on-farm of all or the majority of herb replacements.
Feed is derived from improved pasture supplemented by
concentrate feeds, which for the most part are purchased compound
meals manufactured principally from imported ingredients.
However small scale farmers with less than 25 acres, who by
current estimates own 50% of the dairy cattle and over 80% of the
dual purpose, also contribute to the milk supply. Many practise
twice a day milk; and they rely on a variety of feed sources
extending from improved pasture to roadside grazing.
- 6 -
Acreage and Classification
Total acreage in pasture in Jamaica is estimated at 667,200
(Table 2 and Figure 1), with approximately 306,000 acres considered
as improved pastures. The predominant species of grass in the
improved pastures are African Star (C~ynodon nlemfuensis), Pangola
(Digitaria decumbens), Coast Cross: (Cynodon dactylon), Lucnea
(Panicum maximum), Para (Brachiaria mutica), Suriname (Brachiaria
deaumbens), and Napier (Pennisetum purpureum). A new introduction,
King grass (Pennisetum spp.) is gaining in popularity. Legumes are
generally absent from improved pastures although a few small
experimental plots of leucaena exist.
The main limitation to animal production imposed by pasture is
the reduced quantitative and qualitative feed availability during
drought periods and/or the winter months. Falling protein and
digestibility levels occur rapidly with age of the pasture and
energy levels are also inadequate for realizing the productive
potential of animals.
TABLE 2 PASTURE LANDS (HECTARES)
PARISH IMPROVED UNIMPROVED UNIMPROVED TOTAL
PORTLAND 3,481 4,917 2,647 11,045
ST.THOMAS 3,773 5,595 4,929 14,297
ST. ANDREW 671 4,221 4,061 8,953
ST.MARY 4,687 6,085 2,076 12,848
ST.ANN 17,251 25,827 '418 43,496
ST.CATHERINE 9,162 10,063 1,043 20,268
CLARENDON 6,204 21,317 3,510 31,031
MANCHESTER 18,776 14,008 756 33,540
ST .ELIZABETH 27,492 ,8,980 847 37,319
TRELAWNY 8,318 2,923 577 11,818
ST.JAMES 5,070 5,882 63 11,015
HANOVER 5,871 5,408 11612,395
WESTMORELAND 13,124 8,818 162 22,104
TOTAL 123,880 124,044 22,205 270,129
Source: Jamaica Resource Assessment (CRIES)
(1 Hectare = 2.47 Acres)
Rotational grazing is the most popular grazing system utilized
with cycles ranging from 15 45 days. Complete zero grazing is
rarely practiced but various combinations with rotational grazing is
in evidence. Grazing pressure, as measured by stocking rates, vary
from extensive to very intensive and on the recognized farms range
from 0.4 A. U. per acre to a high of over 1.5.
Fertilizers are normally applied to improved pasture with
variations in frequency and quantity. Nitrogen is the main nutrient
Grazing trials have reflected liveweight gains of over 1000 lb
per acre from pangola pastures. Under zero grazing conditions daily
liveweight gains of 1.5 lb per animal have been obtained. Pastures
have also supported milk yields of 6 quarts per day per animal.
Average annual rainfall for Jamaica is 77 inches with two
defined wet seasons in May/June and October/November. The average
may vary however with localities from less than 30 inches (in
southern St. Elizabeth) to in excess of 150 inches, (in parts of
However a more realistic assessment of soil moisture status is
water balance. Using this criterion 20% of the island's surface has
a negative water balance for over 6 months of the year, 10% between
4 and 6 months and the remaining 70% 0 4 months (Figure 2).
N, cu e c O
Jamaica's cattle population spans all these zones and hence
there is a need to develop differing systems to cope with all these
Average daily temperature at sea level is 78.7o F, with mean
maximum and mean minimum of 87.6o F and 71.00 F respectively.
Temperatures fall with increased altitude and at 3000 feet above sea
level the annual average temperature is 68.70 F and maximum and
minimum means are, 74.9o P and 63.3o F respectively.
Soils and Topography
The main soil types on which pastures are found are the Terra
Rossas and alluvials. The Terra Rossas which are derived from
limestone are light soils with low water holding capacity and
organic matter content. Potash is usually deficient and although
phosphate may also be low it is rapidly fixed when applied as
inorganic fertilizer and becomes.
The alluvial soils are of three types: (a). The Older River
Alluvia which are heavy soils with good levels of phosphate and
potash but may be saline, (b) Old Island Basin which are acid soils
with low fertility, (c) Recent Alluvials, which are light soils with
low water holding capacity and high fertility.
The topography of areas associated with cattle production are
divided broadly into:
The lowlands relate to the plains of Clarendon, St. Catherine,
Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth and St. Ann where flat lands prevail
with slopes rarely exceeding 10o
The uplands have variable topography with gentle to steep
slopes. Elevation usually of 1000 feet above sea level.
3. REVIEW OF PASTURE RESEARCH
A Pasture Management Division in the Ministry of Agriculture
was set up at Grove Place in 1946 with the main objectives of
increasing the production of milk and meat by improving pasture
management systems and developing viable farming systems combining
grass with other crops.
The work was extended to Bodles Agricultural Station at a later
date, with a programme of work which included:
a) A Grassland survey of Jamaica and the collection of indigenous
and exotic fodder and dominant legume species in pastures in
Jamaica for establishment in small plots (1984).
b) An Evaluation of the indigenous species of Grasses and Legumes
The assessment of green and dry matter production of grasses
and legumes, with and without fertilizer, and of their nutritive
- 13 -
status with specific reference to protein content at different
stages of growth was undertaken.
Grasses tested were: Axonopus compressus (Flat or Savannah),
Andropogon pertusus (Seymour), Cynodon dactylon (Bahama)
Stenotaphrum secundatum (Crab), Paspalum notatum (Flat, Bahia),
Panicum maximum (Fine Guinea and Cow), (Pennisitum purpureum cy
(Napier, Elephant, and Uganda) and Brachiaria mutica (Para).
Results indicated that most of the indigenous pasture grasses
yielded three (3) tons or less of dry matter per acre per annum at a
fertilizer level of 63 lb of N per acre per annum.
The taller grasses Guinea, Napier, Elephant and Uganda
yielded over six (6) tons of dry matter per acre per annum for
similar levels of fertilizer. The dry matter production of Para
grass was intermediate.
The legumes Desmodium trifolium, D, adsendens,
D. canum and Stylosanthes hamata all showed low productivity.
Introduction and Testing of Exotic Types
Several species of pasture grass were introduced and tested.
These included Coastal Bermuda (Cynodon sp) Pangola (Digitaria
decumbens), Bahia (Paspalum notatum), Guinea (Panicum maximum) from
Central and South America, Star grass (Cynodon plectostachrum),
Carib grass (Eriochloa Polystachrum), Dallis grass, (Paspalum
dilatatum), Toco (Ischimum timorens~~e); Taragua, Rhodes, Buffel
(Cenchrus ciliaris), Star grass (Cynodon nlemifuensis), Coast
Cross 1 (Cynodon Dactylon a c. nlemfuensis introduction), several
Brachiaria species and the Digitaria varieties and other grasses in
the South African selection by Oakes.
From the early introductions, Coastal Bermuda and Pangola
showed superior production of dry matter per acre per annum over the
indigenous pasture types with better drought tolerance.
Later introductions Coast Cross 1, Star and Suriname grasses,
also showed superior dry matter yields p~er acre (per annum over the
indigenous pasture grasses).
These five (5) selections together with Guinea and Napier
formed the basis research programmes which were developed.
Other fodder plants tested included various sorghums.
The legumes introduced and tested included Centrosema pubecens,
Stylosanthes gracilis S, guyanensis, Indigofera subulata, Indigofera
endecaplylla, Desmodum uncinatum,
D. intortum, Medicago sativa, Glycine javanica, Clitoria ternatia,
- 15 -
Pueraria phaseoloides, and Macroptilium atropurpureum.
Centrosema pubescens, Indigofera subulata and endecaphylla,
Desmodium uncinatum, Macroptilium-atropurpureum (Siratro) and
Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) were selected for trials in mixtures
with different varieties of grasses.
After 12 to 18 months of grazing the percentage of legumes in
the awards was reduced to very low levels due to the
aggressiveness of the high yielding pasture species. And in
the case of Indigofera endecaphylla pregnant heifers aborted
after twenty-one (21) days grazing on mixtures of this legume
Several grazing trials were conducted using Coastal Bermuda,
Pangola, Guinea, Coast Gross 1 and Napier grasses with and
Results of trials to be inserted.
without the use of artificial fertilizer, both at Grove Place and
Bodies Research Stations to secure information on annual production
potential of these grasses, for the development of beef and dairy
Similar grazing trials were subsequently conducted using Star
and Suriname grasses.
Star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis) was introduced into Jamaica
between 1967 and 1970. This grass was established on farms
throughout the country and expanded rapidly without any evaluation
of its persistence, productivity, and nutritive value, neither were
management systems developed.
King grass, a pennisetum hybrid, is currently being expanded on
a similar basis. It is felt that there is urgent need for a proper
evaluation of both these grasses on a comparative basis with
existing pasture and forage grasses already being utilized.
Grazing trials on pure stands of Suriname grass at Grove Place
resulted in excessive purging of the animals.
Simple grazing trials were carried out on grass/1egume
mixtures of Siratro and Coast Grass 1 at Bodles. There was a rapid
decline in the percentage of Siratro in the mixtures.
*Results of Trials to be inserted.
Digestibility studies were carried out on pangola and Guinea
grasses at regrowth intervals of 4, 6 and 10 weeks
of age, at the Animal Nutrition Division at Bodles to evaluate
intake, and digestibility of protein and fibre (the nutritional
value) of these grasses at different stages of growth and levels of
Experimental work was carried out at Grove Place with the
following principal objectives:
i). To study the effects of harvesting on crop growth.
ii). To study different methods of forage conservation.
iii). To examine the effects of conservation on nutritional
iv). To promote the use of conserved feeds in livestock
systems where' possible.
Trench silos were utilized to store excess growth of grasses from
peak periods of production. Silage was fed back to animals on
grazing trials, in periods of low production, to adjust for
deficiencies in Fodder on offer.
*Results of Trials to be inserted.
Resources for Pursuing Pasture Research
Pasture Research continues to be undertaken only by the
Ministry of Agriculture. Currently the responsibility lies with the
Research and Development Division and work is being done only at
Bodies and Grove Place Research Stations.
Financial and personnel resources available to the agricultural
research programme are at a low ebb and this is reflected in their
staff complement and operations. Thus pasture research and animal
production research have only a single qualified staff member.
However, collaboration with CARDI has recently resulted from
out-posting of a Pasture Specialist to Jamaica.
Although plans exist for reorganizing the overall Agricultural
Research System to allow it to secure more substantial financial
flows and make it more attractive to research scientists, these are
unlikely to affect the staff resources available for forage and
fodder investigations, in the short run. The observation has
implications for the Working Party's priority proposals for pasture
research, and recommendations to address this issue are made.
4. PRIORITIES FOR RESEARCH
Forage for the stress period.
Statement of Opportunities. Farm-grown forage, produced
during periods of excess, ought to be preserved for livestock
use during periods of drought or of cool weather when pasture
production is reduced. It is preferable that all strategies
for conservation be based on forage currently produced and
accepted by Jamaican farmers. A number of opportunities are
available, and several of the most likely to be used should be
presented through demonstration type activities sponsored by
the Ministry of Agriculture. Forage conservation systems
adopted by farmers will depend on the size of the operation in
terms of land, numbers of cattle, capital available, managerial
capabilities of the farmer, and climate, to name a few.
Two general approaches need to be taken:
(a). systems involving little capital, surplus labour,
specifically for small farmers with less than five
(b). systems using relatively large amounts of
capital, mechanization, and high levels
of management which could be suitable for large
commercial farms and perhaps, organized
satellite programmes composed of many small producers
around a core farm with good farm machinery services and
Some opportunities for providing forage in order of increasing
complexity are presented in Figure r.
VISUALIZATION OF MANAGEMENT AND FORAGE
PRODUCT FOR USE DURING STRESS PERIODS
MANAGEMENT FOR GROWING
1. Adjust cattle numbers to
available feed supply in dry
season and provide protein
2. Establish forage for cut
and carry systems..
3. Controlled grazing:
high intensity, short
FORAGE SOURCE OR PRODUCT IN
DRY OR COOL/DRY SEASON
1. Pasture remaining to carry
2. Fodder banks.**
3a. Surplus stockpiled in situ.
3b. Surplus conserved as hay
*May include early weaning of calves which are fed hay, high quality
fodder-bank forage or high quality stockpiled forage.
**Could be combined with legume or protein banks.
- 21 -
The simpliest strategy to assure forage availability in the dry
season is to adjust cattle numbers such that forage is sufficient
during periods of drought. The number of cattle carried during the
dry season could depend on level of fertilization, which positively
affects herbage yield. This strategy for carrying cattle through
stress periods will not increase total cattle numbers, but it could
have a marked effect on increasing the calf crop. Lactating cows
will not experience excessive weight loss and would be expected to
breed on an annual basis. To reduce the demand on the cow, calves
might be weaned early, for example before a stress period. These
calves could be sold or backgrounded on high quality forage.
Fodder banks of perennial bunch grasses
which can be used in a cut and carry system during stress periods.
Examples of such grasses are elephant grass, (King grass) and
sugarcane. Fodder banks can be used alone or in combination with
Stockpiling or accumulating grasses during the rainy season
for use during the dry season offers possibilities but requires
management in the form of livestock control, selection of grass
species and fertilization. Farmers must designate certain pastures
toward the end of the rainy season for the production of in situ
storage. Star grass and Bermuda grass are not good candidates for
this method because they lose forage quality rapidly after 35 to 40
days. Likely species are Hermarthria altissima and dwarf elephant
grass x millet hybrids. The latter offer the prospect of quality
pasturage for dairy operations, while Hermarthria and pangola are
possibilities for breeding cows. Fertilization for stockpiling can
increase total forage production and enhance quality. Stockpiled
forage can be an integral part of the protein banks discussed
earlier and viewed as one possibility for handling excess forage in
a high intensity-short duration grazing method, which we will refer
to as controlled grazing.
Controlled grazing restricts cattle to small pastures (or
strips within paddocks) supplying herbage for a short period (1 to 3
days), after which cattle are moved to another paddock separated by
an electric fence in a regular rotation. Growing stock and milking
cows might precede dry cows in a system of first and second grazers
obtaining best and less-good quality herbage, respectively. The
objective is to increase carrying capacity and production/unit of
land. During the growing season some forage is surplus and this
could be handled as stockpiled or as conserved forage.
Conservation as hay or silage offers the best promise of
preserving nutrients in forage, but both methods depends largely on
management and investment capital. Advantages for each method are
recognized and technology for each (viz. mechanization and
simplified storage systems) is available and widely used. Rather
than recommend wide-spread hay production by many producers, a
specialized, custom operator should be encouraged or to serve one or
more large farms or dairy operations any number of small satellite
farms in the area. Similarly a pilot silage operation should be
Haymaking as a conventional method of forage conservation
implies cutting and field curing at a proper stage of growth to
optimize or balance quantity and quality of the conserved product.
Another approach, which takes advantage of more mature plant
material and permits baling at a slightly higher moisture content is
ammoniation, which improves protein content and enhances
Utilization of on-farm byproducts to provide subsistence feed
during the stress period is a common practice on small farms. These
include banana stalks and leaves, maize stover, etc. Their use has
not been fully determined but should be elucidated by a diagnostic
characterization of small farm crop-feed-livestock systems.
Integrating legumes into forage systems
Rationale, potential and problems: Legumes offer the
possibility of high-quality feed without nitrogen fertilizer, but
legumes (at least herbaceous legumes) are not as dependable as
nitrogen fertilized grass, and legumes require greater management
than grass. Several legumes have been tried in the Caribbean Basin,
Central and South America and Australia that
- 24 -
are less dependent on strict management for success, and they are
currently grown but little used in Jamaica. These legumes are
Gliricidium sepium and perhaps Albizia spp. The following are
suggested techniques for incorporating legumes into Jamaican
livestock enterprises. If they are adopted by large producers, they
would be utilized as part of stockpiled grass management during the
dry season or would most likely be used in cut and carry systems
(protein banks) by small farmers.
Protein banks are legume plantings reserved for protein
supplementation of livestock diets during the dry season. We
recommend that initially protein banks in Jamaica be restricted to
use of fodder trees either grazed (in larger operations) or as
cut/carry (small farms). Herbaceous legumes have pasture potential,
but they are beyond the five year period considered by this
statement. At present the potential of these fodder trees needs to
be demonstrated in Jamaica and work to integrate them into
production systems given high priority.
Grass-legume mixtures using compatible herbaceous legumes
that have been recognized from past research (viz. Centrosema
pubescens, Desmodium intortum, etc.,) and perhaps new releases (e.g.
Vigna parkeri, which has been released by CSIRO in 1987) could be
tried. These would be directed toward intensive beef cattle and
dairy operations with a high level of managerial expertise.
Alley Cropping is a cropping scheme in which legume trees,
such as leucaena and gliricidia, are established and grown often
along the contours of sloping lands. They are located at distances
of 10 to 20 or more feet, the trees are placed 1 to 2 feet or more
within the row. Rhizobium in nodules on roots of the legume trees
fix nitrogen which becomes available for plants grown between rows.
Alley cropping can also be used in combination with pastures or
cut and carry fodder crops; the legume trees provide pasturage and
nitrogen for grasses growing around them.
Increased quality and quantity of forage.
Improvement in amount and quality -of forage results in the
ability to support more cattle. Improved nutrition is especially
important in backgrounding steers or for obtaining consistently
productive cows in the herd from replacement heifers. Most of the
topics in sections 4 will result in more and better pasture, but
this section outlines priorities for specific management practices
that could be used, especially by the larger producers.
Fertilization practices, particularly with N, are unique to
each region because of differences in soil and climate. However,
fertilization is the single practice that results in the greatest
increase in forage yield. Fertilization has the highest probability
of success, but it is also the most expensive of the operating
costs. Realistic and cost-effective fertilization practices for
grasses and legumes selected for use in Jamaica must be developed.
Irrigation of pasture has been widely practised in some areas
of Jamaica, but because of the cost of pumping and shortage of
water, its use will be limited in the future. Use of water should
be restricted to the production of quality forage such as for the
production of hay and silage, fodder and protein banks.
Creep grazing allows for the use of high quality forage by
growing stock (such as calves) while cows are excluded from this
pasture. The concept of first and second grazers was mentioned in
section 4 and is similar in principle to creep grazing: namely to
reserve the highest quality pasturage for stock with the greatest
nutritional needs. Leucaena, dwarf elephant grass and perhaps
selected herbaceous legumes are forages worthy of trial in creep
grazing. This is a management-intensive grazing practice but could
be modified for small farm use by cut/carry feeding of calves.
In some instances such as intensive dairy or feedlot
operations for finishing steers farmers may opt to use a zero
grazing approach. Although this maximizes animal production per
acre, it also maximizes investment capital. It may be necessary to
produce a specialized product like choice beef for the hotel trade.
Introduction and evaluation of forages
Several new genera and cultivars have been recognized in the
Caribbean area and parts of the tropical world during the past ten
years. ~It is proposed that these forages be introduced and
evaluated in Jamaica.
In view of the need to rapidly incorporate promising and more
productive grasses and legumes into the farming and feeding systems,
Jamaica should take advantage of results from preliminary screening
in small plots that have been carried out in the Caribbean Basin and
other Tropical American countries. For example, CIAT provides
regularly published reports containing information concerning
agronomic and animal evaluation data for a wide array of forages
which grow in agro-ecological regions comparable to those in
Jamaica. Thus, there is no need to duplicate introduction and review
of many cultivars and selections available for tropical conditions.
The following are suggested cultivars of species either
currently grown on the island or in similar areas.
1. Star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis), 'Florona' and 'Florico'
2. Digit grasses: 'Servenola' and 'Taiwan'
3. Hemarthria: 'Floralta'
4. Dwarf Elephant grass (Mott)
5. Elephant grass: X Pearlmillet (Pennisetum hybrids)
6. Bahia grass 'Tifton 9'
7. (Cynodon dactylon) 'Tifton 78'
1. Leeucaena: Various morphological types, including K-340
(prostrate or decumbent types)
2. Vigna parkeri
3. Albizia spp.
Evaluation of these forages should be done in several locations
around the island and could employ cattle and include observations
on acceptablility, persistence, etc. Selected forages should move
out of the evaluation process quickly for practical testing in
pastures in commercial operations.
5. TOPICS RELATED TO RESEARCH PRIORITIES
Type of Research for Jamaican Agriculture
Priorities for forage (pasture) and fodder research must be
based on farmer-oriented problems, designed to provide results that
are applicable to small and/or large farms, and will immediately
impact upon increased output per unit area of land which in turn
contributes to improved animal product.
It is imperative that research be designed to improve practices
currently used by Jamaican farmers or within their capabilities.
Research projects funded by JARP must have a high probability of
success. This is especially true for initial projects.
This implies applied research of an adaptive nature, the
outcome of which is easily and readily transferred to farmer
conditions. It is not of the conventional and traditional long-term
type conducted on an agricultural experiment station whereby the
researcher follows a specified statistical design over a period of
years before passing along information for dissemination to farmers.
Adaptive research may be conducted on-station or on-farm,
depending on detailed data and information needed for problem
solution. On-station, and in some instances on-farm research, will
provide data suitable for statistical analysis and economic
projections of input/output cost benefits. On the other hand, it
may be demonstrative in nature, providing observational information
and useful for farmer field days and group gatherings.
On-farm adaptive research directly involves farmers in the
planning, conduct, and interpretive stages so as to benefit from
their experiences. In addition, farmer involvement provides
feed-back to the researcher (supervisor of the on-farm trials) so
that future on-station trials will include farm oriented problems.
The proponent of an adaptive research project should be
familiar with published information which impinges on the proposed
subject, particularly that available from research carried out in
comparable agro-economic areas especially of the Caribbean Basin.
There is no need to initially duplicate-studies when data and
information can be directly transferred to Jamaican conditions.
For example, results from studies of response of African star
grass carried out in Puerto Rico and Florida or King grass in Cuba
that might be applicable to Jamaica.
Project Development, Implementation and Training of
Pasture/Fodder Research Personnel
With the shortage of professional staff at the agricultural
experiment stations of the Ministry of Agriculture, JARP must rely
in part on participation of out-of-country human resources,
in-country experienced personnel in certain private sector
enterprises (some of whom have agricultural training at different
educational levels a~nd work experience in the Ministry of
Agriculture), as well as selected progressive farmers.
It is anticipated that specific projects will attract
collaboration of out-of-country university research scientists and
their graduate students. These individuals would participate in
developing project proposals for JARP consideration and engage in
the conduct of adaptive research within Jamaica.
Furthermore, an effort should be made by JARP to identify:
a. individuals with B.Sc. degrees in agriculture now engaged
in related work areas who can work in funded
projects and are interested in future advanced degree
b. students in the Jamaica School- of Agriculture who would
receive in-service training as field, laboratory and
technical assistants and who might be motivated to
pursue further education at the B.Sc. level.
With agricultural research in a state of transition there is a
pressing need to locate promising and ambitious young people with an
interest in agricultural research, attract financial support to
assist in their continued and advanced training and convince policy
makers that the Ministry of Agriculture positions, especially
research scientists, must be funded at competitive salary levels.
Lines of Communication and Transfer of Technology
An overall decline in funds within the Ministry of Agriculture
during recent years has led to a concurrent reduction in the
research programmes at the Bodles, Grove Place and Montpelier
Experimental Stations. Nonetheless, some project activities have
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been maintained and carried on by the reduced staff and personnel.
The results of these activities must be regularly compiled and
presented to the administrators and policy makers in the Ministry of
Agriculture, and published for the information of the farming
community. Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that the research
programme focuses on solution of priority problems of livestock
farmers. It is vital that researchers recognize that the task of
making policy makers and farmers aware of the results of their work
and its relevance to the solution of farm problems is theirs. And
they must regularly communicate to them their need for funds to
pursue this research and emphasize that increased agricultural
output is dependent on additional and continued support of research.
At present, forage (pasture) and fodder research in Jamaica
lags behind the needs of progressive farms and is not equipped to
provide leadership for small farmers. In fact, little background
information is available in regard to forage and feed systems on
small farms. Fortunately, the Research Programme of JADF is in a
position to support on-farm adaptive research, as well as encourage
the research staff at Bodles, Grove Place and Montpelier.
As data and information are obtained from JADF funded projects,
a plan for transfer of this technology will be needed. Thus,
resources must be provided for publications and preparation of
communication aids. Furthermore, consideration should be given to
the approach or means for dissemination of information to farmers.
This can be accomplished by field days, workshops, training courses,
fact sheets, and innovative forms of visual aids.
Seed Sources and Planting Material
A serious constraint to the development of improved pastures,
establishment of grasses (e.g., King grass) as fodder banks and
establishment of legumes (e.g., leucaena) as protein banks (either
used for grazing and/or cut-and-carry) is planting material, either
true seeds or vegetative material.
Since a seed industry for production of pasture and fodder
grasses and legumes has not been developed in Jamaica there exists a
lag-period between identification of potential types and their
movement onto the farm. With a grass such as African star grass the
vegetative material was first increased on the experiment station,
then randomly moved on to multiplication plots of a few interested
farmers, after which it spread from farm to farm.
Release of cultivars could come from increased stocks on the
stations or on farms. A field day could be held to discuss the
grass (nutritional value, proper grazing, methods of planting,
fertilization, etc.,) and the grass could be distributed as baled
stems and stolons at that time.
In general, the private sector is more efficient in providing a
ready supply of available seed. With a limited market, however,
development of a seed industry is not attractive within the private
nor government-sponsored sector.
With the increased interest in King grass as a fodder bank or
cut and carry crop and leucaena as a protein supplement the same
pattern of seed increase is being followed as with African star
- 34 -
For more effective and rapid seed and vegetative material
increase a planned and systematic scheme should be considered. This
could involve selection of farmers who initially receive support,
possibly from JADF, for development of a seed multiplication
scheme. Essentially, they would receive an identified seed or
vegetative material source from the experiment station and be
provided training to increase and maintain identity of the cultivar.
6. Suggested Areas for Development of Project Proposals
From the Priorities for Research (Section 4.0) the Working
Party selected several areas within which specific project proposals
might be prepared for JARP support. They are not inclusive in that
more detail is needed in the body of the Project Proposal. Nor are
they intended to be exclusive since others who are familiar with
animal-pasture enterprises in Jamaica will no doubt have additional
suggestions. For example, when more information is available for
small farmers, other priorities will be recognized, especially
feeding systems for goats and sheep.
Any proposal submitted for JARP review should be considered in
light of the requisites set forth.
Leucaena, Gliricidia and grasses as Fodder and Protein Banks
Ten small producers working in satellite operations with large
dairy operators will be selected. Likewise other small livestock
(cattle or goats) producers, who are willing and interested in
participating, will be selected. Five of those producers will be
given leucaena plants and assisted in the establishment of
leucaena. They will be given fertilizer and exclusion cages to
assure quick establishment and protection from grazing during
establishment. They will also be given planting material of King
grass or sugarcane, and they will be assisted in grass
establishment. Upon satisfactory establishment, the producers will
be instructed in the proper use of the leucaena protein banks or the
King grass, both of which will be used in cut-and-carry systems
during the dry season.
The remaining five producers will be asked to continue to
manage their forage resources in the usual manner. The criteria for
comparing the two approaches will be milk or meat production, animal
health and condition and testimonials of the farmers. The use of
leucaena for charcoal production will also be examined. Results of
the two trials will be provided in newspaper accounts and at field
days organized fo'r that purpose.
Four progressive farmers within one or more physiographic
regions will be selected. Two of the farmers will be provided
leucaena Gliricidia plants and given assistance and advice in
planting 2 to 3 acres adjacent to or within a star grass pasture.
This Leucaena/Gliricidia will be fenced and allowed to establish
until ready for use as a protein bank.
Other legumes which might be examined for use as protein banks
are Siratro and Glycine.
Promotion of Commercial Haymaking as a Feed Supplement for
Haymaking on a commercial basis appears to be a feasible
enterprise. This approach will take advantage of individuals or
entities with experience in forage conservation of this type.
Furthermore, this is a means to provide supplement during periods of
High quality hay can substitute in part and complement
concentrate (out-of-bag) feeding when pasture has been reduced due
to drought and cool temperatures.
Haymaking on small farms is difficult because of limited land,
type of terrain, lack of equipment suitable for small acre
operation, cost of equipment (even if it were available) and erratic
On some large private and government farms conventional
haymaking is practised when terrain is suitable. Nonetheless,
problems are often encountered due to cost of equipment, shortage of
spare parts, improper land leveling, erratic rainfall, inconsistent
supply and cost of irrigation water, and unpredictable weather
conditions which correspond to stage of plant development to
optimize forage quality and quantity.
To move into a commercial haymaking enterprise, it is proposed
that an individuals) be identified who has (have) experience with
conventional haymaking on a large scale basis (e.g., Serge Island
Dairies, Agricultural Development Corporation, etc.). This
individuals) be given an opportunity to become familiar with
haymaking processes outside of Jamaica (e.g., Ona Research Centre
(IFAS) in Florida and on private or commercial farms). While on
this learning and fact-finding trip, it is anticipated that contact
will be made with someone who has an interest in developing a
collaborative project in Jamaica with support by JARP.
The local input (with JARP support) will provide land, an
established grass sward, irrigation facilities, fertilizers, etc.
The out-of-country collaborator will provide technical know-how,
guidance and monitoring.
The project proposal and its implementation should include
comparisons of conventional haymaking~as practiced in Jamaica and
modified techniques, such as use of different types of equipment,
processes to enhance the quality of hay such as ammoniation,
injection of molasses into the bale and methods of storage. An
effort should be made to attract participation of a haymaking
equipment agency (or agencies).
Consideration might be given to comparative studies such as
rates and time of fertilizer application, interval of cutting, use
of other grass species, grass-legume combinations.
Cost inputs must be carefully recorded, along with hay
production records, and some measure of quality so as to obtain
benefits to the entrepreneur and provide the buyer (livestock
keeper/farmer) information regarding feed value of the hay.
- 38 -
Comparative studies of hay versus silage production in
cost-benefit ratios: Because of predictable rain-free periods in
only certain sections of the island, hay making may be restricted.
In order to conserve surplus forage for the dry-cool season in other
regions, silage production seems to be the only alternative. It
must be recognized that silage production of perennial tropical
grasses and legumes has never been widely used because of lack of
consistency of a quality product. Assuming a satisfactory silage
product could be produced, comparative costs of the operation need
to be developed. A spread-sheet for. some assumed or real operation
needs to be developed for cost of production of a unit of crude
protein, TDN or unit of dry matter for hay compared to silage. Risk
factors for each method for various locations on the island are
Increased animal output/land unit using controlled grazing
To maintain a competitive livestock enterprise (particularly
dairy production) the Jamaican farmers must utilize innovative
techniques (procedures) to increase per acre output of forage which
translates into greater animal output and higher returns on
In some instances this can be accomplished by increased or
judicious use of fertilizer. At some point, however, the
cost-benefit ratio does not favour additional use of fertilizer.
Low-cost alternatives which can be studied (researched) on
farms include the following set forth as treatments in comparative
trials. These can be carried out in replicate on a single farm or a
single replicate located on two or more farm units of the larger
dairy farm units of an enterprise such as Alcan. Similar trials
might also be conducted on smaller farm units such as the Luana
Treatments to be considered are as follows:
a. Conventional grazing as practiced by the farmer or
b. Conventional grazing plus establishment and use of a
fodder bank(s) to provide supplemental forage during
stress periods of pasture storage. The fodder
bank(s) might be a grass such as king grass or
sugarcane and/or a protein bank such as leucaena or
gliricidia. The fodder/protein bank(s) can be used
for cut-and-carry forage or restricted grazing.
c. Controlled grazing, i.e., use of an electric
fence(s) to restrict or confine grazing to a limited
and given pasture area -- sometimes known as strip grazing or ration
grazing. The grazing area would be of sufficient size to provide
pasturage for two or three days.
Several modifications can be incorporated into this treatment,
namely permitting the more productive milkers to enter as first
grazer, followed by grazing with less productive or dry cows.
The rotational rest period will be determined by factors which
determine and influence productivity of the pasture.
A study of this nature will require participation of a project
leader having experience in the conduct of. grazing trials,
progressive and knowledgeable farmers, and on-farm assistants who
can be trained in animal management, feeding practices, and record
keeping. These might be students from the Jamaica School of
Agriculture. A project coordinator might be a B.Sc. graduate with
an interest in gaining on-farm experience and/or advanced degree
Methods of establishing leucaena on various soil types and in
several rainfall regions need to be studied. This involves a number
of small studies that can be demonstration type trials done at
several locations. The first portion compares sown seeds with
transplanted seedlings. Hot-water treated leucaena seed will be
direct-sown in prepared seedbeds (tilled) compared to transplanted
seedlings at one or more times when moisture and temperature for
quick development are expected. These two establishment methods in
tilled soil can be repeated with the same leucaena establishment
LOW P AND K FERTILIZER HIGH
methods in a perennial grass. A gradient of applied P, K, or P and
K fertilizer would provide insights into fertilizer response. The
following is a scheme illustrating a two acre planting:
I ~SEED SOWN GRASS SOD +
+Scalped strips are created by running a
mouldboard plow on the contour.
Selected grass and legume cultivar evaluation.
There are two aspects of this project proposal. One is
agronomic evaluation of a limited number of selected grasses and
legumes in different agro-ecological zones, and the other is use of
animals to obtain' observational and/or output data of a small number
of commonly used and promising cultivars. The two might be carried
out concurrently as a single project or separated into two projects.
In years past a large number of grass and legume species,
cultivars and accessions have been introduced into Jamaica and
established in small plot field nurseries at the Bodles and
Grove Place Experiment Stations. Considerable time and effort in
terms of human resources, as well as financial outlay, have gone
into collecting and recording agronomic data, chemical analyses, and
in vitro digestibility studies. From this vast accumulation of
information only three grasses have been widely dispersed and
adopted by farmers, namely Pangola, African star and Brachiaria
s~pp. These probably would have attained.prominence without the
evaluation effort on the experimental stations.
It is proposed that the time-consuming approach of screening a
large number of introductions (cultivars) be bypassed, taking
advantage of evaluation trials and assessment made by CIAT and other
research agencies in the Caribbean Basin. Results of these trials
are readily available in a number of accessible publications.
Grasses and legumes for evaluation: A list of suggested
grasses are given in Section 3.4.3 for introduction and evaluation
in Jamaica. In addition, the project leader might consider others
after perusal of t'he literature. He should also use the following
items as suggestions for a project proposal.
The selected grasses and legumes should be established in
single rows of about 20 feet length and 3 to 5 feet between rows in
different agro-ecological zones. The number of locations will
depend on facilities and project support.
These are primarily observational and adaptation trials, but a
number of data could be recorded. The kind and amount of data can
be determined by the project leader.
Animal response and evaluation: At selected sites, and
adjacent to the agronomic trials, a few of the more promising
grasses and legumes, as determined from the literature, should be
established in plots of 20 x 20 feet (or larger) and fenced so as to
control animal entrance and grazing. The plots might be encircled
as a common enclosure or separated individually.
The kinds and types of observational and data parameters should
be determined by the project leader and collaborators. Suggestions
exist in a number of publications.
These trials will permit rapid observation and evaluation in a
number of regions, allow exposure to farmers, be used for field days
and small group farmer gatherings, form the basis for preparation of
fact sheets to be distributed to farmers using information and data
from other countries, source of seed or vegetative material for
farmer distribution, provide an opportunity to decide if more
detailed on-station studies are needed, plus other features which
arise as the trials progress.
Nitrogen fertilizer response on selected perennial grasses
needs to be determined. Three nitrogen rates and three levels of
available forage (steer stocking rates) will be studied at a
year-round fixed stocking rate for the respective treatments. This
grazing study will not be field replicated, but will use steers as
replications and deviation from regression as an estimate of
experimental error. There will be' nine 5 acre pastures. Because of
the expense involved, it is suggested that this study be conducted
- 44 -
on one grass initially, preferably star grass. It is also
recommended that the work be carried out at one of the experiment
stations where care can be taken in carrying out work. The criteria
for evaluation will be animal performance and cost-benefit ratios
(viz: cost/1b gain).
Diagnostic studies to characterize feeding systems on mall farms
Less information is available for aspects of crop-animal
enterprises, cropping patterns, feeding systems, pasture and fodder
production, supplemental feeding, farm inputs and outputs for the
Jamaican small farmer than for the large farmer. This information
is needed before valid interventions and proposals can be made for
the small farmer who combines crop production and animal keeping.
There are well formulated and defined techniques and procedures
which have been designed to characterize small farmer operations.
They are similar and related to the diagnostic surveys used in study
of whole farm systems but less time consuming.
The approach was designed by Hildebrand and McDowell, used and
perfected by them and many others in various developing countries.
- 45 -
To obtain well defined and documented information about small
farmer/animal keepers JARP should consider supporting a diagnostic
survey using the Hilderbrand-McDowell model. This will require
input from out-of-country manpower and expertise in collaboration
with in-country personnel, especially as on-farm enumeratiors.
Use of rumen-modifiers and ionophores for beef cattle, both
in feed lot and on pasture has been used to improve feed
efficiency. Although this practice is somewhat outside the scope of
the principal focus of this document, we feel that it is technology
that is directly transferable, and its application should be
investigated. Considerable research has been conducted with
commercially available products fed to cattle on star grass and
other tropical grass pastures at the Ona Research Centre in South
Some grasses and legumes that have potential in the
subtropics, especially Florida, will not produce seed on a
commercial basis in that region. For example, -iga adanantha and
V, parkeri are promising perennial legumes for Florida. Should they
be released as cultivars, Jamaica could be used for commercial seed
production. These legumes flower and set seed in the winter dry
season and they could be an excellent cash crop.
Similarly, the Georgia Experiment station and USDA-ARS have
been developing hybrid Bahia grass (Tifton 9). Seed production is
difficult in the Southeast because of problems in isolation of
certified seed production fields. Because very little Bahia grass
is grown on Jamaica, the island could be an important producer of
certified seed for export.
3.10.1 Indigenous Grasses
Botanical Name Common Name
1. Andropogon per-tusus (Seymour)
2. Axonopus compressus (Flat, Savannah)
3. Cynodon dactylon (Bahama, Bermuda)
4. Stenotaphrum secundatum (Crab; Pimento)
5. Paspalum notatum (Flat; Bahia)
6. Paspalum conjugatum (Sour)
7. Paspalum fascioulatum (Bamboo)
8. Paspalum virgatum
9. Digitaria sanguinalis (Crab)
10. Sporobulus (sp) (Wire)
11. Setaria (sp)
12. Cenchrus (sp)
13. Elusine indica
14. Paspalum (sp)-fimbriatum et al.
CATALOGUE of NATURAL and IMPROVED GRASSES and LEGUMES IN JAMAICA
3.10.2 Indigenous Legumes
Botanical Name Common Name
1. Centrosema sp. (Centro)
2. Phaseolus sp.
3. Desmodium sp. canum, trifolium & adsendens
4. Stylosanthes sp. hamata, humilis (Stylo)
x Pennisetum americanum
(Wild tamarind, Leucaena)
3.11 Improved Grasses (Mostly exotic)
Botanical Name Common Name
1. Panicum maximum (Guinea, Cow)
2. Pennisetum purpureum (Napier, Elephant, Uganda)
3. Tripsacum laxum (Guatemala)
4. Brachiaria mutica (Para)
5. Digitaria decumbens (Pangola)
6. Cynodon dactylon (Coastal Bermuda)
7. Brachiaria decumbens (Suriname)
8. Brachiaria dictyoneura (Tanner)
9. Brachiaria (sp) (Signal)
10. Brachiaria ruzzinensis (Ruzy)
11. Eriochloa polystachya (Carib Grass)
12. Cynodon dactylon (Coast Cross 1)
13. Cynodon nlemfuenisis (Star Grass)
Stylosanthes (sp) guianensis
hamata and others
3.12 Improved Fodder Species
1. Sorghum varieties
2. Sugar Cane varieties
3. Fodder trees (Bastard Cedar, Breadnut etc.)
3.13 Improved Legumes (Exotic)
1. Indigofera endecaphylla
2. Indigofera subulata
3. Desmodium uncinatum
4. Desmodium intortum
5. Medicago sativa
(Hairy Peruvian varieties)
1. Leucaena leucocephala
2. Glyricida sepium (Quick Stick)
Presently: 7) Lablab purpurens, 8) Neonotonia wightii
Itinerary of Activities
Monday, June 20
Seminar on Some Aspects of Tropical Forage Production
Bodies Research Station
Interactive session with local cattle farmers and animal
production research personnel of Bodles.
Bodies Research Station
Visit to dairy farm of Mr. Fred Anders.on, Free Town
to discuss forage production and management programme
Tuesday, June 21
Tour of Alcan Jamaica Company's Dairy cattle operations
at Mount Nelson, Russell Place and Marshall's Pen,
followed by working session with the farms' personnel
Visit to Grove Place Research Station, including tour of
pasture experiments and livestock operations.
Wednesday, June 22
Visit to ADC's Hounslow Farm to observe hay production
potential in arid area where irrigation is available.
Tour of livestock operations (Goats, sheep and cattle)
of Mr. Glen Henry Treasure Beach
Visit to Luana Dairy Cooperative to see dairy/pasture
Thursday, June 23
Kew Park Farm, Bethel Town
Review current pasture management practices and problems
on Kew Park farm
Montpelier Research Station
Tour facilities at Experiment Station and discuss work in
Friday, June 24
Braco Farms, Duncans
Tour livestock/pasture operations
Lydford Farms Limited, Lydford
Visit livestock/pasture/feed lot operations
Tuesday, June 28
Tulloch Estates Ltd. Bog Walk
Tour and review cattle and pasture operations with special
reference to forage conservation
Wednesday, June 29
Serge Island Dairies Ltd. Seaforth
Visit dairy and pasture operations on farms in the
Serge Island Complex and discuss plans for
satellite dairy farms.
Persons Interviewed by Forage Research Working Group
Monday, June 20
Dr. Keith Roache, Managing Director, JADF
Dr. George Wilson, Director, Research, JADF
Mr. L. Walter Van Whervin, Director, Research and
Development, Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG)
Dr. Paul Jennings, Animal Nutritionist,
Bodies Research Station (MINAG)
Dr. Belal Ahmed, Pasture Agronomist, CARDI
Dr. Renford Baker, Deputy Director, Research and
Mr. Joseph Hendricks, Agro 21
Mr. A. C. MacDonald, Agricultural Extenionsist, IICA
Mr. Fred Anderson, Dairy Farmer, Free Town
Tuesday, June 21
Dr. Karl E. Wellington, Agricultural Director,
Alcan, Jamaica Company Ltd. Mandeville
Mr. Osric Stephenson, Farm Manager, Alcan
Mr. Philip Webster, Farm Manager, Alcan
Mr. Sylvan MacDaniel, Farm Manager, Alcan
Mr. N. Williams, Farm Manager, Alcan
Mr. John D. Maxwell, Director, Grove Place Research
Mr. John Logan, Pasture Agronomist, Grove Place Research
- 53 -
Wednesday, June 22
Mr. David Miller, Animal Husbandman Hounslow Goat
Mr. Clovis Morrison, Farm Manager, Hounslow
Mr. Glen Henry, Livestock Farmer, Treasure Beach
Dr. Gary Ruegsegger, Peace Corps Volunteer,
Livestock Field Officer, Luana Dairy Cooperative
Mr. Kenneth Warren, Dairyman, Luana Dairy
Mr. Oliver Sullivan, Dairyman, Luana Dairy
Thursday, June 23
Mr. Peter Williams, Livestock Farmer, Kew Park,
Mr. Conn Smart, Social Worker, Cornwall Youth & Community
Mr. E. G. Lee Hew, Director, Montpelier Research Station
Friday, June 24
The Honourable. W. V. Parnell, Braco Estates, Limited
Mrs. Jane Viera, Farm Manager, Braco
Dr. Lloyd Wiggan, Lydford Far~ms Limited
Mr. John Sherman, National Commercial Bank
Tuesday, June 28
Mr. Donald Turner, Tulloch Estates, Ltd.
Mr. Roger Turner, Tulloch Estates, Ltd.
Wednesday, June 29
Mr. Simon Calder, General Manager, Serge Island
Mr. Keith Dixon, Farms Manager, Serge Island
Mrs. Fiona Black, Farm Manager, Serge Island
SUMMlARY OF COMMENTS ON FORAGE RESEARCH WORKING-GROUP'S REPORT
The Livestock Research Advisory Committee considered the report
and, in endorsing its broad recommendations, made the following
1. Whilst the emphasis on forage conservation for the "stress
period" when herbage availability is the main constraint is
important, due attention should be paid to the need to
optimize productivity through a combination of conservation
and environmental amelioration in the summer when dairy
animals are under climatic stress.
2. Greater emphasis should be placed on the possible
integration of herbaceous legumes (such as Siratro and
Centrosema) into the conservation system.
3. As energy and not protein is more often the limiting factor
in high producing dairy cattle on tropical pasture,
consideration should be given to appropriate measures to
raise the intake of energy.
4. In view of the importance of energy content of pasture,~ in
undertaking the various pasture production studies, data on
herbage energy content should be secured and compiled so
that a year-round profile of the "energy density" of the
various types of sward can be developed as a guide to
feeding practice. (Possibly a more specific project could
be developed for execution over the medium term).
5. The characterization of small farmer production systems
should precede initiation of research in this area.
6. Sugarcane appeared to have attracted less attention than
its potential warrants.
7. Work on hay production seems to have been given precedence
over silage, and, especially in view of the special
requirements for haymaking, an examination of the relative
cost effectiveness of hay and silage seems appropriate.