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Abstract

Trees and bushes as forage alternatives have a positive effect on cattle feeding, thus reducing the cost of milk and meat production. In the Dominican Republic, farmers use tree branches and fruits to feed their animals. However, they do not know the appropriate management, production potential, leaf: stem ratio and nutritive value of these materials. The objective of this research was to measure the effect of height, cutting frequency, leaf: stem ratio and the production of three forage tree species in a dry sub-tropical forest. The research was conducted at Las Tablas experimental station, Bani, during 2005 and 2006. The usual annual rainfall is 650 mm distributed during the periods May-June and October-November. The ο average annual temperature is 30 C; the soil is sandy loam with pH 7.5. There was supplemental irrigation after each evaluation on a year-old plantation. Plants were 0.5 meters apart with 1.0 meter between lines. The experimental design was a random design with factorial arrangement and three replications per treatment. The factors studied were two cutting heights (0.50 and 0.75 meter) and two cutting frequencies (60 and 75 days). There was an analysis of variance applied at the 5% level. Leaves were separated from the stems in order to obtain their relationship, the production yield on a dry matter basis (kg/ha), nutrient analysis and other parameters. The results showed that there were statistical differences between Albizia and Guazuma. Under these conditions, Gliricidia is a good alternative.

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