Track 1-07

Description

Hedgerows of the fodder tree legume, Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit ssp. glabrata (Rose Zárate) (leucaena), planted with companion grass, provide productive, profitable and sustainable tropical pasture (Shelton and Dalzell 2007). Although leucaena can improve beef production from tropical pastures, poor grower adoption has limited development of leucaena in the Chaco Region of Argentina. This can be partly attributed to: (1) unsuccessful establishment; (2) limited understanding of leucaena management as a forage resource; and (3) concerns about mimosine toxicity. These 3 limitations have been overcome in other regions of the world (e.g. northern Australia and the Chaco Region of Paraguay), but little is known about leucaena management and the protection status of ruminants against mimosine toxicosis in Argentina.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of leucaena on beef production and toxicity in the west of the Argentinean Chaco Region. We hypothesise that the introduction of leucaena into grass pastures will significantly increase beef productivity if mimosine toxicosis does not appear.

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The Effect of Leucaena leucocephala on Beef Production and Toxicity in the Chaco Region of Argentina

Hedgerows of the fodder tree legume, Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit ssp. glabrata (Rose Zárate) (leucaena), planted with companion grass, provide productive, profitable and sustainable tropical pasture (Shelton and Dalzell 2007). Although leucaena can improve beef production from tropical pastures, poor grower adoption has limited development of leucaena in the Chaco Region of Argentina. This can be partly attributed to: (1) unsuccessful establishment; (2) limited understanding of leucaena management as a forage resource; and (3) concerns about mimosine toxicity. These 3 limitations have been overcome in other regions of the world (e.g. northern Australia and the Chaco Region of Paraguay), but little is known about leucaena management and the protection status of ruminants against mimosine toxicosis in Argentina.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of leucaena on beef production and toxicity in the west of the Argentinean Chaco Region. We hypothesise that the introduction of leucaena into grass pastures will significantly increase beef productivity if mimosine toxicosis does not appear.