PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

African Journal of Range and Forage Science

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register



DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Storage quality and marketability potential of bagged silage for smallholder dairy farmers in Zimbabwe

Prisca H Mugabe, Rigison Nyashanu, Sharai Ncube, Venancio E Imbayarwo-Chikosi, Shephard Siziba, Barbara V Maasdorp

Abstract


Bagged sole maize and maize–cowpea silages in three bag sizes were assessed at 42 and 282 d post-ensiling for sensory and chemical quality. A survey of dairy farmers on silage use and preferences was conducted in the Chikwaka communal area and Marirangwe small-scale commercial farming area. Only silage dryness changed with time. Percentage neutral detergent fibre significantly changed in 20 kg bags from 58.1 ± 0.75% at 42 d to 52.3 ± 0.86% at 282 d and in 10 kg maize–cowpea bags from 48.6 ± 0.75% to 56.0 ± 0.86%. Percentage crude protein significantly decreased (P < 0.05) for 15 kg (11.8 ± 0.30% to 9.4 ± 0.35%) and 20 kg bags (11.4 ± 0.30% to 8.9 ± 0.35%) for maize– cowpea. All 45 farmers surveyed knew about silage and 90% were feeding it to cows, 53% were making their own and 37% purchased silage. Challenges in making silage included unavailability of forage choppers, lack of requisite resources and inadequate knowledge. Silage unavailability and difficulties in transportation and storage resulted in a low frequency of silage purchases. There was no association (χ2 = 0.18; P > 0.05) between farming system and farmers’ willingness to buy or sell silage, and larger bags were preferred (χ2 = 78.96; P < 0.05). Computed silage costs per tonne were farm-produced sole maize US$57.54, maize–cowpea US$58.59 and bought-in sole maize US$89.80.

Keywords: bag silage, dairy, marketing, nutrition, quality




http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/10220119.2016.1234509
AJOL African Journals Online