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Manipulation of Cassava Cultivation and Utilization to Improve Protein to Energy Biomass for Livestock Feeding in the Tropics

  • Wanapat, M.
  • Published : 2003.03.01

Abstract

Cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz), an annual tropical tuber crop, was nutritionally evaluated as a foliage for ruminants, especially dairy cattle. Cultivation of cassava biomass to produce hay is based on a first harvest of the foliage at three months after planting, followed every two months thereafter until one year. Inter-cropping of leguminous fodder as food-feed between rows of cassava, such as Leucaena leucocephala or cowpea (Vigna unculata), enriches soil fertility and provides additional fodder. Cassava hay contained 20 to 25% crude protein in the dry matter with good profile of amino acids. Feeding trials with cattle revealed high levels of DM intake (3.2% of BW) and high DM digestibility (71%). The hay contains tannin-protein complexes which could act as rumen by - pass protein for digestion in the small intestine. As cassava hay contains condensed tannins, it could have subsequent impact on changing rumen ecology particularly changing rumen microbes population. Therefore, supplementation with cassava hay at 1-2 kg/hd/d to dairy cattle could markedly reduce concentrate requirements, and increase milk yield and composition. Moreover, cassava hay supplementation in dairy cattle could increase milk thiocyanate which could possibly enhance milk quality and milk storage, especially in small holder-dairy farming. Condensed tannins contained in cassava hay have also been shown to potentially reduce gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminants and therefore could act as an anthelmintic agent. Cassava hay is therefore an excellent multi-nutrient source for animals, especially for dairy cattle during the long dry season, and has the potential to increase the productivity and profitability of sustainable livestock production systems in the tropics.

Keywords

Cassava Hay;Ruminant;Dairy;Protein;Condensed Tannins;Feed;Tropics;Sustainable System

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Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Council of Thailand