Skip to main content Accessibility help

Animal production from rotationally-grazed natural and sown pastures under coconuts at three stocking rates in the Solomon Islands

  • M. A. Smith (a1) and P. C. Whiteman (a1)


A continuously grazed trial on natural and sown pastures under coconuts was reported by Watson & Whiteman (1981). This has been continued for another 3 years as a rotationally grazed trial. The paddocks were divided down the centre and three animals grazed for 28 days in one half and were transferred to the other half for 28days. The same three stocking rates of 1·5, 2·5 and 3·5 steers/ha were maintained. In the sown pasture paddocks Brachiaria decumbensand Brachiaria miliiformis were planted in rows from rooted cuttings, while Centrosema pubescens (centro) and Pueraria phaseoloides (puero) were sown, with seed at 4 and 3 kg/ha, respectively. Naturalized pastures were maintained by grazing at 2·5 steers/ha during the establishment of the sown pasture. Light transmission was 62 %. Sown grasses were lost after 4 months from the start of rotational grazing. In the sown pastures puero became dominant. Animal live-weight gain (LWG) on puero was poor in the first 140 days of grazing in each year, but after this time it increased. Centro was the dominant species in the natural pasture of 2·5 and 3·5 steers/ha. However, there was little difference in yearly LWG except in year 3 when the 2·5 steers/ha had higher gains in the natural (363 kg/ha) than in the sown pasture (250 kg/ha). Th9 mean live-weight gain (kg/ha) in the first 2 years of the rotationally grazed trial (315 kg/ha) was lower than in the continuously grazed trial (364 kg/ha) at 3·5 steers/ha. The time and efficiency of collecting fallen coconuts was lower at 1·5 steers/ha in both pastures, but not different between 2·5 and 3·5 steers/ha. In continuous and rotational grazing there is little point in planting Brachiaria species. Productive pastures in plantations oan be obtained by conti oiling weeds and sowing centro and puero into the naturalized Axonopus compressus and stocking at 2–5–3–0 steers/ha. Further research on other grasses such as Ischaemum aristatum and Stenotaphrumsecundatum may lead to better grass persistence.



Hide All
Agricultural Research Council (1980). The Nutrient Requirements of Ruminant Livestock. Technical review by an Agricultural Research Council working party. 351 pp. Farnham Royal, U.K.: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
Andrew, C. S. (1977). The effect of sulphur on the growth, sulphur and nitrogen concentration and critical sulphur concentrations of some tropical and temperate pasture legumes. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 28, 807820.
Andrew, C. S. & Robins, M. F. (1969). The effect of phosphorus on the growth and chemical composition of some tropical pasture legumes. I. Growth and critical percentages of phosphorus. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 20, 665674.
Bogdan, A. V. (1977). Tropical Pasture and Fodder Plants. New York: Longman.
Caiger, S. (1982). Pastures in forestry plantations: an investigation of pasture production under a range of tree densities. M.Agr.Sc. thesis, University of Reading, U.K.
Humphreys, L. R. (1978). Tropical Pastures and Fodder Crops, 177 pp. London: Longman.
Litcher, T. & Whiteman, P. C. (1982). Light transmission and pasture composition under smallholder coconut plantations in Malaita, Solomon Islands. Experimental Agriculture 18, 383391.
Little, D. A. (1980). Observations on the phosphorus requirement of cattle for growth. Research in Veterinary Science 28, 258260.
'T Mannbtje, L., Jones, R. J. & Stobbs, T. H. (1976). Pasture evaluation by grazing experiments. In Tropical Pasture Research - Principles and Method (ed. Shaw, N. H. and Brynan, W. W.), Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux No. 51, Hurley, England.
Norton, B. W. (1982). Differences between species in forage quality. In Nutritional Limits to Animal Production from Pastures (ed. Hacker, J. B.), pp. 89–110, Farnham Royal, U.K.: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
Smith, M. A. (1983). Grazing studies on the Guadalcanal Plains, Solomon Islands. M.Agr.Sc. thesis, Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia 4067.
Smith, M. A., Macfarlane, D. C, Whiteman, P. C. & Shelton, H. M. (1981). Regional trials pasture species evaluation and soil fertility assessment Ri Ri – Makira and Dala – Malaita. Technical Report, Solomon Islands Pasture Research Project, 39 pp., University of Queensland.
Smith, M. A. & Whiteman, P. C. (1983). Evaluation of tropical grasses in increasing shade under coconut canopies. Experimental Agriculture 19, 153161.
Steel, R. J. & Whiteman, P. C. (1980). Pasture species evaluation, pasture fertilizer requirements and weed control in the Solomon Islands. Technical Report, Solomon Islands Pasture Research Project, 95 pp., University of Queensland.
Watson, S. E. & Whiteman, P. C. (1981). Animal production from naturalized and sown pastures at three stocking rates under coconuts in the Solomon Islands. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 97, 669676.
Wilson, J. R. & Wong, C. C. (1982). Effects of shade on some factors influencing nutritive quality of green panic and siratro pastures. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 33, 937949.

Animal production from rotationally-grazed natural and sown pastures under coconuts at three stocking rates in the Solomon Islands

  • M. A. Smith (a1) and P. C. Whiteman (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.