Research station to evaluate use of total mixed rations

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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THE Bodles Research Station in Old Harbour, St Catherine, will be undertaking research to evaluate the use of total mixed rations (TMRs), with a view of introducing it to the local market.

Minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green made the announcement while addressing agricultural stakeholders at the joint Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Jamaica Red Poll and Jamaica Black Cattle Breeders Societies, at the Minard Estate in Brown's Town, St Ann, recently.

TMR is the practice of combining feeds into a complete balanced mix that provides adequate nourishment to meet the needs of dairy cows. It is the most adopted method to feed dairy cows in the world.

“The advantages include the provision of a nutrient-balanced ration for cows, and increased milk fat,” Green outlined.

The state minister also noted that TMR aids digestion and can improve the production of beef.

This research will complement Bodles' ongoing work to store collected straws of semen from superior local bulls, such as the Jamaica Red Poll, which are made available to farmers locally, as well as for export.

Green indicated that the Bodles Research Station is essential to this process. He maintained that it is critical that Jamaica has a proper cattle breeding programme to “create new lines and improve existing ones”.

“As the ministry continues to work towards repositioning the cattle industry to its pride of place, it is important that you, the cattle breeders, continue to conserve the lines. That is why, given the shortage in breeding stock and weaners among Red Poll cattle, the ministry has joined forces with the Red Poll Cattle breeders to conserve the semen of superior bulls,” he explained.

Green noted that the ministry is also pursuing initiatives to conserve the Jamaica Black Poll breed.

The day's activities saw the handover of a semen bank containing 1,300 straws of semen of the Jamaica Red Poll breed.

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