18 research outputs found

    Cowpea in evolving livestock systems

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    Demand for livestock products has been increasing through much of the semi-arid tropics and will likely continue to increase along with the use of purchased feedstuffs. As smallholder livestock systems evolve and become more market oriented, the type of diets fed to livestock may change and the importance of feed marketing may increase. Mixed cropÔÇôlivestock systems are key to meeting this increasing livestock product demand and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.) fodder (haulms) is an important component of these systems in semi-arid regions of the tropics where its high nutritional quality allows it to be used as a supplement to livestock diets based on cereal stovers and other low-quality forages. Improving the nutritional quality of cowpea fodder for use by livestock is important to improving the productivity and profitability of these mixed farming systems. Legume fodders will remain an important part of changing livestock diets and the development of cowpea varieties that better feed both people and their farm animals will give farmers new and better choices for improving levels and efficiency of livestock production. Cowpea breeding programs have worked toward producing dual-purpose varieties that emphasize the production of grain and fodder since the late 1980s and have produced several that have become well accepted when tested on-farm. Systematic screening of cowpea genetic resources is important for advancing development of dual-purpose varieties. Involvement of cultivar release agencies and seed production programs are also important to advance the use of improved dual-purpose crop varieties

    Cowpea and groundnut haulms fodder trading and its lessons for multidimensional cowpea improvement for mixed crop livestock systems in West Africa

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    Cowpea is an important legume crop in Africa, valued highly for its grain and also haulms, which are a tradable commodity in fodder markets. Fodder market surveys in Northern Nigeria showed that groundnut haulms were priced higher than cowpea haulms, probably because of their superior nutritive value. The economic value of haulms has prompted cowpea breeders and livestock nutritionists to explore haulm fodder traits as additional selection and breeding criteria. Fifty cowpea genotypes cultivated across five locations in Nigeria in 2013 and 2014 were evaluated for food fodder traits. Significant (P < 0.05) genotypic dependent variations were observed in yields (kg/ha) of grains (537ÔÇô1082) and haulms (1173ÔÇô3368), though significant (P < 0.05) effects of location and year were observed. Grain and fodder yield had a tendency to be positively correlated (r = 0.26, P = 0.07). Haulms were analyzed for nitrogen (N), fiber fractions, in vitro digestibility, and metabolizable energy content. Highly significant variations were observed in all genotypic and livestock nutrition traits, although location and year had significant effects. Trade-offs between grain yield and haulm fodder quality traits were largely absent and haulm acid detergent lignin and grain yield were even inversely correlated (r = -0.28, P = 0.05), that is high grain yielders had decreased haulm lignin. However, haulm N and grain yield also tended to be negatively associated (r = -0.26, P = 0.07). Haulm fodder quality traits and haulm yield were mostly positively correlated (P < 0.05). Broad sense heritabilities for grain and fodder yield were 0.50 and 0.29, respectively, while heritability for haulm fodder quality traits ranged from 0.61 to 0.67, providing opportunities for concomitant increase in grain yield and haulm fodder quality traits. Selection of the 10 highest ranking genotypes for grain yield, haulm yield, haulm N, and haulm in vitro organic matter digestibility showed selection groups overlapping, suggesting that multi-trait selection is feasible. Economical evaluation showed that choice of primary traits is context specific, highlighting the need for identifying and targeting appropriate genotypes to fit different production systems. Considering haulm quantity and quality as traits of economic value can increase overall plant value in mixed crop-livestock systems

    Enriching livestock diets with cowpea

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    Methodological considerations in using gas production techniques for estimating ruminal microbial efficiencies for silage-based diets

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    The relationship between in vivo and in vitro estimates of efficiency of microbial production (EMP) was tested using four silage-based diets. In vivo estimates were based on renal allantoin excretion in steers and in vitro estimates were based on a combination of gas volume and true substrate degradability (TSDOM) measures conducted at substrate-specific times. After an initial test to evaluate 96 h gas production profiles of diets incubated in both N-low and N-rich media, the time to half maximal gas production (t1/2) was calculated and a second incubation conducted in both media with fermentation stopped at t1/2 for each substrate. True substrate degradability was measured from incubation residues and combined with gas volumes to estimate EMP. Additionally, microbial N (MN) production estimates were made using two equations from information on dietary N, N content of residues and NH3-N content of media before and after incubation. In vitro estimates of EMP were related to in vivo EMP in both N-low (R2 = 0.94, P=0.03) and N-rich (R2 = 0.91, P=0.04) incubation media. No relationships occurred between in vitro efficiency of microbial N production and in vivo EMP when microbial N production was calculated from direct N determinations using N content of the apparently degraded residue after centrifugation and NDFN of the incubation residue. When in vitro microbial N production was estimated indirectly by accounting for dietary N, changes in NH3-N concentrations in the incubation medium and NDFN in the incubation residue, efficiency of microbial N production relative to 100 mg TSDOM tended (R2 = 0.83, P=0.09) to be positively related to in vivo EMP. Silage fermentation acids appeared to interfere with relationships between gas production and in vitro substrate degradability measures because they were removed from the incubation residue without having contributed to fermentation. Therefore, silage acids should be accounted for when using combined in vitro gas production and true substrate degradability estimates to evaluate EMP of silage-based diets. N supplementation of incubation medium can influence substrate use for microbial growth, and attempts should be made to simulate in vivo N availability. It may be possible to rank silage-based diets for microbial efficiency using combined gas volume and true substrate degradability measures conducted at substrate-specific times (t1/2)

    Precio y calidad de alimento para ganado en mercados suburbanos en el Sahel de ├üfrica del Oeste: An├ílisis de un caso en Bamako, Mal├ş

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    In West African Sahel cities, livestock husbandry such as smallholder dairy production and livestock (cattle, sheep and goat) fattening has become popular among livestock owners to meet food needs for the household, and for income generation. The increasing importance of urban and suburban agriculture, particularly livestock husbandry in the region, has led to a rapid increase in livestock populations in most of the cities. As a result of this increase and the associated growth in the demand for feeds, feed markets have sprung up in many cities and towns of West AfricaÔÇÖs Sahel. A survey of livestock feed markets was conducted in five markets in Bamako, Mali. Prices of livestock feeds were monitored monthly from January to December 2010. In addition, feed samples were collected from the markets for laboratory analysis to determine their nutritional quality. Results showed that the prices of cowpea hay and groundnut haulm were consistently higher than those of other feeds throughout the year. The price of cowpea hay ranged from 367 FCFA/kg dry matter (DM) (1 USD Ôëł 500 FCFA) in October, i.e. immediately after harvest, to 667 FCFA/kg DM in August, i.e. in the wet season. Results also showed that there was no relationship between price and quality for all feed types. However, prices and quality of feeds differed significantly across seasons suggesting that the season was a major determinant for the price of livestock feeds in suburban areas of West AfricaÔÇÖs Sahel
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