A comparison of feeding management practices of beef cattle smallholders in lowland and upland sites in East Java



Vyta W. Hanifah(1*)

(1) Indonesian Center for Agricultural Technology Assessment and Development, Bogor, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


Improved utilization of crop by-products is seen as essential on increasing productivity of smallholder cattle production in East Java. We report on a study to describe and compare feeding management practices in lowland and upland sites in East Java. A total of 184 farmers were interviewed in March-May, 2010, focusing on farm-household characteristics, cropping patterns, cattle numbers and uses, and feeding practices, especially with regard to rice straw. The lowland and upland cattle production systems varied in some important ways, reflecting the different agro- ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the two study sites. In the more intensively managed lowland site, farmers had more cattle and tended to specialize in calf production, whereas the upland farmers produced calves, young cattle, and adult cattle for sale. Use of cattle for draught power was less common than in the past, especially in the upland site. The high importance of rice straw as a source of feed was evident in both sites. Most of this feed was obtained from other farms, whether directly or by purchase. The greater scarcity of this resource in the upland site means that farmers travelled longer distances and incurred a higher total cost to obtain their supply. Rice straw was dried for 3-4 days and stored in the lofts of cattle sheds. Planted grasses and legumes were also fed to cattle, but there appears to be potential to increase their production and utilization, especially shrub legumes.


Keywords


mixed farming systems, crop by-products, planted forages, feed supply

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