Tropical Grasslands (2000) Volume 34, 3842
Meringa cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata cv. Meringa) improve liveweight gain of cattle in late summer-early autumn in south-east Queensland
R.K. HOLZKNECHT, D.P. POPPI and J.W. HALES
School of Land and Food, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
Liveweight gain of steers grazing Meringa cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata cv. Meringa) at low (L; 2–3 expanded leaves per plant remaining) and high (H; all leaves removed) levels of utilisation and pangola grass (Digitaria eriantha cv. Stendel) was examined. The experiment was conducted in late summer and early autumn. Steers grazing cowpeas grew faster (L 1.23; H 1.17 kg/hd/d) than those grazing pangola grass (0.62 kg/hd/d) but there was no effect of level of utilisation of the cowpeas. Rumen ammonia levels were higher in steers grazing cowpeas (344 and 245 mg/L NH3 N for L and H, respectively) than in those grazing pangola grass (113 mg/L NH3 N).