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Forage production and conservation for dry season feeding of dairy cattle in the semi-arid region of Zimbabwe: a review and report on recent work.

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Land / Water / Resource Management
Titterton, M.

Trials on the feasibility ofproduc~g and conserving high-quality forages at low cost are on-going, and include a numbe~ of studies aimed at achieving this objective. So far, results show that a low-cost high-quality silage can be produced using adapted forages and legumes in semi-arid eas and in sufficient quantities to supplement smallholder dairy cows through the dry season and in a good year, into lactation. Insufficient data has been produced to date on how this can be used to maximum benefit for the smallholder dairy Cf w but it is now known that in severe drought conditions, only 6 kg DM silage a y fed for two months before calving will significantly improve body condition, while 3 kg a day fed for a month will prevent severe loss in condition and death.