The Leucaena Network

the economics

Key features of leucaena

Nutritious and palatable

It produces very palatable, nutritious, high protein leaf for cattle, giving live-weight gains of

250-300 kg/HD/yr or 125- 150kg per hectare.

This is twice that of grass only pastures.

Adds value to cattle production

Cattle fattened on combined leucaena and grass pastures produce top quality beef and can meet all premium domestic and export grass-fed market specifications.

Leucaena is a productive & sustainable gazing system

  • increase animal liveweight gain
  • increase beef production/ha
  • provides flexibility to meet the carcass requirements of all domestic or export beef markets and to sell prime cattle out of season
  • maximize returns ($/ha).

 

So why is it so good?

 

The exceptional value of the leucaena grazing system in adapted environments is due to a combination of factors:

 

  • The edible material has very high nutritive value (digestibility, crude protein and essential nutrients) compared to other tropical forages. This imparts much faster cattle weight gains and turn-off rates that lead to greater profitability and flexibility in marketing beef cattle.

 

  •  It is a long-lived system.  While it is costly to establish it can remain productive for 30-40 years with annual management and maintenance.

 

  • A deep root system allows the tree to provide green forage longer into the dry season and during droughts compared to than conventional grass and grass/legume grazing systems. This results in more uniform animal productivity and lower animal supplementation costs.

 

 

Further information on the economics of Leucaena production compared to other forages can be found in “Feeding Forages In the Fitzroy!” published by DAF

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