Use of legumes in livestock systems
Countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay are large producers and exporters of meat, primarily relying on direct grazing of natural fields and planted pastures with a total of almost 300 million head of cattle. The majority of land dedicated to this low-productivity pastoral livestock is found in marginal areas for agriculture, characterized by severe limitations in fertility and/or acidity/alkalinity and/or waterlogging. There is a need to improve the productive capacity of the forage resources in these regions. Conversely, in countries such as Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, livestock plays a vital role in the sustainability of agricultural systems.
GHG emission inventories show that pastoral farming is a main source of these emissions in the aforementioned countries but few have their own emission factors (GHG emitted per kilo of forage consumed). Therefore, they use the default emission factors established by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) that do not necessarily reflect local conditions, nor do they allow identification of possible mitigation opportunities for intensive systems.
An option for sustainable intensification of these animal production grazing systems is the incorporation of forage legumes. Both the promotion of legume species in natural communities and the implementation of improved legumes bring several benefits.
The Regional Workshop "Use of legumes in livestock systems" was held at the Experimental Station La Estanzuela (Colonia) of the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Uruguay (INIA) from October 2nd to 4th, 2017. The workshop constituted an instance of dialogue and training for specialists from PROCISUR member countries, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, on the issue of sustainable intensification of livestock grazing systems.
The technological solution
Use of legumes in livestock systems.
The document with the state of the art and the proposal of a consensual project.
Researchers from participating research institutes.
- Programa Cooperativo para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Agroalimentario y Agroindustrial del Cono Sur (PROCISUR) - Uruguay
- Empresa Brasileña de Investigación Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA) - Brasil
- Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) - República Dominicana
- Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
- Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
- Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador
- Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
- Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Nicaragua
- Instituto Paraguayo de Tecnología Agraria (IPTA) - Paraguay