Key Features of Leucaena
Nutritious and palatable
It produces very palatable, nutritious, high protein leaf for cattle, giving live-weight gains of 250-300 kg/HD/yr or 125- 150kg per hectare. This is up to twice that of grass only pastures.
Adds value to cattle production
Cattle fattened on combined leucaena and grass pastures produce top quality beef and can meet all premium domestic and export grass-fed market specifications.
Leucaena is a productive & sustainable gazing system
Increase animal liveweight gain
Increase beef production/ha
Provides flexibility to meet the carcass requirements of all domestic or export beef markets and to sell prime cattle out of season
Maximize returns ($/ha)
So why is it so good?
The exceptional value of the Leucaena grazing system in adapted environments is due to a combination of factors:
The edible material has very high nutritive value (digestibility, crude protein and essential nutrients) compared to other tropical forages. This imparts much faster cattle weight gains and turn-off rates that lead to greater profitability and flexibility in marketing beef cattle.
It is a long-lived system. While it is costly to establish it can remain productive for 30-40 years with annual management and maintenance.
A deep root system allows the tree to provide green forage longer into the dry season and during droughts compared to than conventional grass and grass/ legume grazing systems. This results in more uniform animal productivity and lower animal supplementation costs.
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries can provide individual graziers with an assessment of the economic impact the introduction of Leucaeana grazing systems may make to their enterprise. Contact your local QDAF office to find out more.
Whilst it is based on a sample property located in the Fitzroy region of Central Queensland, QDAF’s ‘Fitzroy Beef Production Systems’ provides an overview of the economics of Leucaena production compared to other pastures.