FIRST DRAFT: July, 1989
Technical Assistance Program of Forage Research:
A cooperative project between Jamaican Agricultural Research Program
and the University of Florida.
The purpose of the technical assistance program of the University
of Florida is to provide guidance in the design and application of a
forage research program in Jamaica. The ultimate purpose is to strengthen
the existing research institutions so that they can serve the Jamaican
The following are cooperative efforts of the University of Florida
faculty working through scientists in the Jamaica research system or with
producers cooperating with Jamaican faculpy~.
i) identify problem areas and design demonstration-type research
programs for the medium term (2 to 4 years).
ii) train scientists at the graduate level who will become part
of the research system in Jamaica.
The organization of the technical assistance program is presented
in Fig. 1. Funding for the program will come for the Jamaican
Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF) Jamaica Ministry of
Agriculture (MINAG), and Ul~. "S. Assistance in Dev 1ep (USAID), which
will be administered through the- University. oif Florida, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS),
Organization of the Technical Assistance Program
A Cooperative project between
Jamaica Agricultural Research Program
University of Florida
University of Florida
IFAS International Programs
Dr. Hugh Popenoe, Director
Dr. Rob Kalmbacher, Agronomist
Dr. George Wilson, Director
Dr. Lyndon McLaren, Asst. Director
Dr. Gary Ruegsegger s
Dr. Paul Jennings, An. Nutrition
Mr. John Logan, Agronomist
Montpelier: r". .-- `
Mr. Leo Hew, Director
Dr. Belal Ahmed, Agronomist
Dr. Paul Mislevy, Agronomist
Dr. BillBrown, An. Nutritionist
Dr. Doug Bates, An. Nutritionist
Dr. Stan Schank, Plant Breeder
Dr. Lynn Sollenberger, Agronomist
Food and Resource Economics:
Dr. Peter Hildebrand,
Farm, Systems Dev.
Serge Is., Ltd.
There will be two coordinators: Drs. Gary Ruegsegger in Jamaica and
Rob Kalmbacher in Florida at the Ona Agricultural Research and Education
Center (AREC). In their respective countries the coordinators will be the
liaison between administrative entities and scientists. The conduct of
the program of technical assistance will be the responsibility of the two
coordinators. In Jamaica, Dr. Ruegsegger will assist scientists at
Bodies, Grove Place, and Montpelier research stations and Caribbean
Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI) personnel with the
initiation and conduct of the agreed research and he will aid in problem-
solving. He will maintain contact with Dr. Kalmbacher in Florida about
progress, problems and the need for assistance from the University of
Florida faculty working on the project. In Florida, Dr. Kalmbacher wrill
be responsible for communication to cooperating scientists in areas
outside of their direct involvement in the project. He will coordinate
travel and graduate student training.
The list of names and institutions cooperating in the project (Fig.
1) is flexible, and people can be added as the need arises.
The contract period will be 4 years with provision for extension.
Tentative Research Program
The following experiments and demonstrations are based on those
outlined in "Priorities in Forage Research in Jamaica", which is a report
(August 1988) of the working group on Forage Research. These are most,
but not all, of the suggested projects outlined in the August 1988 report.
This tentative program is intended to provide a synopsis of the work and
the names of University of Florida scientists who will assist Jamaican
scientists and producers.
I. Work initiated September 1989 with field work to begin in Jamaica
in spring/summer 1990.
A. Forage introduction and evaluations.
1. Work at experiment stations.
a. Cynodon (especially stargrass), Pennisetum and
Hemarthria cultivars and promising experimental lines
will be evaluated in standardized trials at various
locations (perhaps with selected producers). Other
grasses, such as Chloris or Brachiaria may be
included. These will be replicated trials and dry
matter yield, persistence and forage quality will be
the response variables. IFAS scientists: Drs. Paul
Mislevy and Stan Schank.
b. Trials, which may be observational in nature, should
be started with potential legumes such as Viggg
parkedi or Rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata). If the
work has not been conducted, a collection of Leucaena
varieties should be evaluated in replicated trials.
IFAS scientists: Drs. Paul Mislevy and Rob
c. Grazing trials, designed for demonstrating animal
production from better grasses, should be initiated.
It is suggested that one stargrass be compared to a
standard grass for that area (viz pangola or
guineagrass) at three levels of stocking. This should
be a very simple trial to compare forage yield and
quality through animal performance. IFAS scientists:
Dr. Paul Mislevy and Bill Brown.
d. Develop a central laboratory for forage testing (in
vitro and crude protein analyses). This laboratory
will handle research samples and hay and silage
samples from producers. IFAS scientist: Dr. Bill
2. Graduate student training at the University of Florida.
As part of this objective graduate students will be
enrolled in the Agronomy Department for training. We at
the University feel strongly that effective training
results from frequent, if not daily, contact between
students and major professors. Students will work on a
project of research that is directly applicable to Jamaica.
For example, an agronomy graduate student could study the
effect of grazing time and intensity on animal performance
of cattle grazing elephantgrass (kinggrass) pastures.
These students will be part of the agronomy program in
Jamaica. They could be responsible for forage quality
analyses and data analyses as part of their compensation
for stipends from JADF. IFAS Faculty: Drs. Stan Schank,
~Lynn Sollenberger, Paul Mislevy.
B. Forage conservation
1. Field work in Jamaica
a. The production of hay and silage (probably "balage"
or round-bale silage) will begin as demonstrations at
one of the experiment stations. This will be a
demonstration of the techniques and methodology and
will be used as an extension tool. For example,
facilities necessary to carry-out ammoniation or
balage production will be used at field days. These
facilities will also be used to produce ammoniated
hay, non treated hay and balage used in simple feeding
trials at the experiment stations. At a very simple
level, urea vs. natural protein could be imposed on
hay and balage feeds. We emphasize that the
experiment stations can use these trials as a
s tepp ing -s tone to the producer level IFAS
scientists: Drs. Bill Brown and Doug Bates.
b. The second stage of the forage conservation project
will be to move from the experiment station to the
producer field to demonstrate the value and estimate
the acceptance of the practice. Selected producers
will be used. IFAS scientists: Drs. Bill Brown and
c. With producer acceptance and providing that the
opportunity exists for success, a JADF funded
commercial hay/balage venture should be undertaken.
The commercial operator would target sales to large
dairies and feedlots, use land such as Amity Hall,
develop a sustaining business producing quality
2. Graduate student training at the University of Florida for
the forage conservation program will largely be provided
by the Animal Science Department at the University of
Florida and Ona AREC. Graduate students will conduct
research work in Florida for their thesis. These projects
will have direct application to Jamaica. For example, with
silage production the student could study the effect of pH
buffering capacity on ensiling tropical grasses with
respect to species, dry matter content or fertilization.
A student could study effect of elephantgrass maturity on
its quality as ammoniated hay.
II. Work initiated in September 1991 with field work beginning in
A. Forage management and utilization.
1. If it is agreed that leucaena or other fodder trees have
potential for protein supplementation, then studies will
be started to determine methods of establishing leucaena
and determining better density and configurations. This
work will be at the experiment station level. A promising
leucaena entry will be established by seed and as seedlings
into a prepared seedbed or into grass sod with various
methods of sod control. Variable density (5k, 10k, 20k,
etc, plants/ha) and configuration (rows and alley width
varying) which allow for multiple use of the companion
grass as hay or silage will be included. At a later date
promising treatments will be evaluated on cooperating
dairies and ranches. IFAS scientists: Drs. Lynn
Sollenberger and Rob Kalmbacher.
2. Graz ing trials to demonstrate ..the usefulness and
practicality of leucaena-stargrass systems will be carried
out. This could be done at the producer level or at the
experiment station. Animal production from the most
promising leucaena density and configuration will be
compared with an animal production from some alternative
such as nitrogen fertilized stargrass alone or grass plus
supplemental feed. IF'AS sicentists: Drs. Bill Brown, Lynn
Sollenberger, Rob Kalmbacher, Paul Mislevy.
3. Feeding trials to compare cut and carry vs. ammoniated and
non-treated elephantgrass hay will be used to demonstrate
the relative value of each form. This will be done at the
experiment station level. IFAS scientists: Drs. Bill
Brown and Doug Bates.
4. Demons trat ion of animal performance and s targras s
persistence with controlled grazing will be carried out
either at the experiment station level or at the producer
level. Controlled grazing will be compared to current
grazing practices. IFAS scientists: Drs. Paul Mislevy and
5. Treatments in grazing studies initiated in I.A.L.C. of this
report could be changed to include only stargrass with
three levels of N fertilizer at three stocking rates. IFAS
scientists: Drs. Paul Mislevy and Lynn Sollenberger.
B. Small farms program
1. Diagnostic studies to characterize feeding systems on small
farms will be undertaken to provide data on: crop-animal
production, cropping practices, feeding systems, methods
of pasture and fodder production, supplemental feeding, and
farm input/output. IFAS scientist: Dr. Peter Hildebrand.
2. The application of best management practices to small
producers will be undertaken through a demonstration
between small producers who do not apply such practices and
those who do apply them. For example, ten small producers
who work with the existing satellite dairy program will be
selected. Half will be instructed on planting and use of
leucaena, elephantgrass or they will be supplied balage or
hay in the dry season. The other five producers will
conduct management as usual. Milk production will be
monitored along with other aspects of the operation.
Results will be reported at a field-day or tour. IFAS
scientists: Drs. Hildebrand, Mislevy, Brown.
III. Responsibilities of IFAS faculty in the technical assistance
A. Assist in the coordination and direction of research and
demonstrations in Jamaica. This requires that cooperating
faculty be willing to travel to Jamaica for periodic, short-
B. Supervise graduate studies. There are six to eight graduate
scholarships proposed for this program. These people should be
trained so that they can return and carry-out useful research
C. Organize two workshops regarding improved forage production.
These workshops will be held in Jamaica and might deal with
topics like forage conservation or new grass introductions and
D. Provide technical consultation (on ad hoc basis).
E. Assist in establishing analytical services in Jamaica or, for
specialized services, assist in obtaining such services within
the University of Florida.
F. Provide new germplasm of potentially useful forages.
G. Provide access to library services.
IV. Budget. At the present time it is not possible to formulate a
budget for the technical assistance program. We expect that after
the trip to Jamaica in September that a financial statement could
be prepared by December 1989.