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Effect of Agroforestry and Intercropping Systems on Fodder Production
Expanded Title:The major agricultural enterprises for small scale farmers in the Upper Thukela region of KwaZulu-Natal are livestock (mainly cattle) and crops (mainly maize and dry beans). However, one of the most important constraints in rural farming systems is the shortage of adequate and good quality forage during the dry winter season. The aim of the study, among others, was to determine the effect of alley cropping temperate pastures (Cocksfoot and Tall fescue) with leguminous trees (L. leucocephala and A. karroo) to increase fodder productivity and quality. The study was also conducted with the aim of determining the effect of intercropping maize with Dolichos lablab at different spatial arrangements to increase fodder productivity and quality. The on-farm field trials were conducted in a communal rangeland area in the Zwelisha ward of Bergville in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on a small-scale dairy farm. The alley crop field trial demonstrated the high potential of the use of temperate grass species and tree legumes for small-scale dairy systems. Intercropping maize with Dolichos lablab improved the quality (crude protein) of maize leaves by 39% which therefore enabled the farmer to meet the maintenance requirements for his dairy cows. The results of the water use estimates of all three species in this trial were conservative when compared to other South African studies, but need to be seen against the silvicultural practice of pruning, which clearly had a major impact on leaf area and water use. In the on-farm trial the small-scale farmer (Mr. Mbhele) received training on the establishment and management of different fodder production systems for dairy farming. Farmers’ days were used to disseminate the results from the trials and demonstrate the viability of the fodder technologies to the wider farming communities.
Date Published:01/03/2012
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Agro forestry
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1351/1/12
ISBN No:978-1-4312--0258-0
Authors:Everson CS; Everson TM; Mthembu BE
Project No:K5/1351
Organizations:University of Kwazulu Natal; Mangosuthu University of Technology
Document Size:5 704 KB
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