During 1985-86 CARDI introduced their "cut and carry" system to eight sma11 farms in the Roseau Valley, Dominica. The purpose was to improve dairy production and train farmers and extension officers in better cattle management. After one year, all farmers had established elephant grass of which they were feeding lactating cattle up to 55 kg fresh weight daily. This was supplemented daily with a high phosphorus mineral and coconut meal plus legumes and crop wastes when available. Other improved practices included housing, artificial insemination, testing for mastitis, synchronized breeding, record keeping, correct milking practices and systematic use of acaricides and anthelmintics. These practices resulted in increases in lactation length from 170-175 days to 238 days and lactation yields from 525-613 litres to 952 litres. A 194 day decrease in calving interval was also recorded.


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