17.11.2014

The sowing of better quality forages and better pasture management can improve forage digestibility and nutrient quality, resulting in faster animal growth rates, higher milk production and earlier age at first calving. Better nutrition can also increase cow fertility rates, and reduce mortality rates of calves and mature animals, thus improving animal and herd performance.

At least two alternatives exist for improving forage production in the LAC. One is to improve production of permanent pastures, and the other is to establish and maintain high yielding cultivated species on arable or potentially arable land in the three major agro-ecosystems of the region (savannahs, hillsides and forest margins). A third option would be a combination of the two. The potential for forage production in tropical regions is tremendous for both intensive and extensive types of production, although production costs are higher with proper grazing management technologies and the economic alternatives must be carefully considered.