Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 342348
Mechanised forage production of Leucaena leucocephala and L. pulverulenta
P. FELKER, R.K. CHAMALA, E.L. GLUMAC, C. WIESMAN and M. GREENSTEIN
Center for Semi-Arid Forest Resources, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas U.S.A.
Forage production was measured for Leucaena leucocephala and L. pulverulenta at 2 sites over a 4-year period using a mechanised procedure for transplanting, cultivating, and harvesting. A silage harvester was modified to cut and chop 1–2 m long shoots and stems 50 cm above ground level. There were 3 harvests per year. Yields ranged from about 1.5 t/ha/yr to 9 t/ha/yr and the crude protein ranged from 11.8% to 23.9%. The protein concentration was lower at higher yields. Yields of 3 t/ha were obtained in 90 days when temperatures were about 3VC and when 175 mm of well distributed rainfall occurred. Protein contents were higher for L. leucocephala than L. pulverulenta from 1984 to 1987. There was better survival of the rootstocks of L. pulverulenta than L. leucocephala -from –7 and –9 °C freezes during the 1984–85 winter. This work demonstrates that leucaena can be planted, cultivated and harvested with commercially available equipment and that leucaena has sufficient cold tolerance to be useful in the subtropical United States as a source of high protein animal feed.