ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 55 Number 4
Potential beef production on intensively managed elephant grass
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the beef production potential of intensively managed elephant grass. In each experiment 12 crossbred Zebu steers were fed a basic diet of free-choice chopped elephant grass alone or with supplements. In the first experiment the treatments were: elephant grass alone; elephant grass plus 500g of cottonseed meal (CSM) daily; elephant grass plus 500 g of CSM and 2 kg of molasses daily. In the second experiment the same treatments were employed plus an additional treatment consisting of 2 kg of molasses daily, but without CSM. The steer fed on elephant grass alone had the lowest average daily gain and steers receiving CSM plus molasses had the highest daily gain. The cost of feeding supplement was, however, uneconomic. Production of elephant grass cut at 56 day intervals was 32·4 t/ha of dry matter and 3·4t/ha of protein per year. It is estimated from the average daily gains and feed consumption obtained in these trials that one hectare of high quality elephant grass would provide enough forage to produce 3000 kg of liveweight gain in Zebu type cattle.