Animal Feeding / CIAT / Engagement / Feeds / Forages / ILRI / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Nutrition / Value Chains

Collaborative research shows that stalks and stems of legume plants are an excellent source of animal fodder

‘Of the many virtues of grain legumes, one is little recognized. Visitors to the livestock fodder markets of West Africa are always surprised to see groundnut and cowpea haulms (stalks and stems of legume plants) sold at prices that exceed that of cereal grains and not infrequently even that of groundnut and cowpea seeds, particularly during periods when sheep keepers are fattening their animal for slaughter at festivities such as Tabaski.

Published in the Grain Legumes FEED, a monthly newsletter of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes the article ‘High haulm biomass and palatability for livestock feed add value to grain legumes’ authored by Michael Blummel, feeds and forages flagship leader of the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program highlights the collaborative work between the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish.

‘However, phenotyping for haulm fodder quality traits such as protein, cell-wall fractions and available nutrients does require special equipment. The good news is that such equipment in the form of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) already exists. Recent work by ICRISAT, IITA and ILRI has produced a road map for improved sharing, networking and NIRS hub generation that will increase the phenotyping capability of grain legume work substantially.

Read the whole article by Michael Blummel: High haulm biomass and palatability for livestock feed add value to grain legumes

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