Priorities in forage research in Jamaica


Material Information

Priorities in forage research in Jamaica report of working group on forage research
Portion of title:
Report of working group on forage research
Physical Description:
iv, 56 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Jamaica Agricultural Research Programme
Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Forage plants -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Pastures -- Management -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


Statement of Responsibility:
Jamaica Agricultural Research Programme.
General Note:
"Prepared in compliance with a recommendation of meeting of Livestock Production Research Advisory Committee of the Research Advisory Council of the Jamaica Agricultural Research Programme held on March 29, 1988."--Prelim. p.
General Note:
"August 1988"--Prelim. p.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 610184063
lcc - S544.5.J25 T43 1989
System ID:

Full Text





\gricult.1ral Developmrenit


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.

August 1988


Executive Summary

1. Introduction

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

i iv

1 -2

3 12

12 18

19 28

29 34

34 46

47 49

50 51

52 54


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

are essential.

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

controlled grazing.

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

using steers.

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.



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 -


Livestock Industry

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).




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:

Beef 260,000

Dairy 30,000

Sheep and Goat 260,000

A small percentage of the goats are milked.

Feeding Systems

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.

Management Systems

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.



-8 -



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


Animal Production

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).

-10 -




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:

a. Lowlands

b. Uplands

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.


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.

Grass/Legume Mixtures

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

with grass.

Grazing Trials

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

production systems.

Similar grazing trials were subsequently conducted using Star

and Suriname grasses.

Recent Introductions

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.

- 17

Digestibility Trials

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

fertilizer application.

Fodder Conservation

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.



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

acres; and

(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

managerial skill.

20 -

Some opportunities for providing forage in order of increasing

complexity are presented in Figure r.






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

duration systems.



1. Pasture remaining to carry


2. Fodder banks.**

3a. Surplus stockpiled in situ.

3b. Surplus conserved as hay

or silage


*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

protein banks.

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

Leucaena leucocephala,

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.

27 -

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.

29 -


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

training; and

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

- 32 -

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

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

Stress Periods

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

feed shortages.

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

weather conditions.

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

37 -

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

Dairy Cooperative.

Treatments to be considered are as follows:

a. Conventional grazing as practiced by the farmer or

dairy unit.

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





-41 -

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:



+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.

Other Considerations

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.




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)

Digitaria (cultivars)

Pennisetum purpureum

x Pennisetum americanum

-48 -

Tree Legumes:



Pithecolubium saman

(Wild tamarind, Leucaena)

(Quick Stick)

(Saman; Guango)

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)



(Pennisetum hybrids)

Pueraria phaseoloides

*Dolichos lablab

*Glycine wighti

Stylosanthes (sp) guianensis

hamata and others

Macroptilium atropurpureum

Centrosema pubescens

Clitoria ternatia

Phaseolus lathyroides


3.12 Improved Fodder Species

1. Sorghum varieties

2. Sugar Cane varieties

3. Fodder trees (Bastard Cedar, Breadnut etc.)

3.13 Improved Legumes (Exotic)

Botanical Name

1. Indigofera endecaphylla

2. Indigofera subulata

3. Desmodium uncinatum

4. Desmodium intortum

5. Medicago sativa

Common Name

(Trailing indigo)



(Hairy Peruvian varieties)

(California selections)






(Blue pea)

(Phasey Bean)









3.14 Trees

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

Development (MINAG)

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

Station, MINAG

Mr. John Logan, Pasture Agronomist, Grove Place Research


- 53 -

Wednesday, June 22

Mr. David Miller, Animal Husbandman Hounslow Goat

Development Project

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,

Bethel Town

Mr. Conn Smart, Social Worker, Cornwall Youth & Community

Development Project

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.

Bog Walk,

Mr. Roger Turner, Tulloch Estates, Ltd.


Wednesday, June 29

Mr. Simon Calder, General Manager, Serge Island

Dairies, Ltd.

Mr. Keith Dixon, Farms Manager, Serge Island

Dairies Ltd.

Mrs. Fiona Black, Farm Manager, Serge Island

Dairies Ltd.

55 -


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.