Kun-Jun Han | 6/12/2012 1:04:44 AM
Summer annual legumes may be a forage option providing high protein and highly digestible nutrients to cattle during the hot Louisiana summer (Table 1).
Mung beans and cowpeas planted in late May were ready for use in September. Forage yield on a dry matter basis was around 5,000 pounds per acre. The crude protein in the forage was near 20%. Compared with pure stand warm-season grass pasture (protein content about 8% and digestibility around 50%), it is obvious that these annual-type, warm-season legumes provide excellent quality forage in a short growing season (less than three months).
A grazing study with calves on legume and bahiagrass pasture demonstrated approximately 1.5 pounds of daily gains per animal while pure bahiagrass pasture-fed cattle daily gains were 1.0 pound. Estimated forage utilization was up to 82%. Later in the growing season, the utilization was a little bit lower at 40% because of maturity.
Table 1. Nutrient content of pastures having different
|Nutrient, % DM||Cowpea||Mung bean||Bahiagrass|
* protein as CP (crude protein, N x 6.25)
**Digestibility as IVTD (in vitro true digestibility)
Next posting will discuss estimated forage utilization of mung bean and cowpea interseeded paddock.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture