|ACHARYA, MOHAN - University Of Arkansas|
|BURNER, DAVID - Retired ARS Employee|
|MUIR, JAMES - University Of Arkansas|
Submitted to: Agroforestry Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2019
Publication Date: 12/27/2019
Citation: Acharya, M., Ashworth, A.J., Burner, D., Burke, J.M., Pote, D.H., Muir, J.P. 2019. Browse potential of bristly locust, smooth sumac, and sericea lespedeza for small ruminants. Agroforestry Systems. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-019-00479-0.
Interpretive Summary: July and August are the hot and dry months in the Southern US that cause marked reduction in yield of predominant grasses (tall fescue and bermudagrass). Alternative forage production is needed for sustained livestock production. Bristly locust, sericea lespedeza, and smooth sumac are herbacious woody browse species for small ruminants that grow well during summer. We compared total leaf biomass production and nutritive value of bristly locust, sericea lespedeza, and smooth sumac. Smooth sumac had the highest leaf biomass production, highest leaf energy, however it contained lowest crude protein and highest condensed tannins. Bristly locust and sericea lespedeza contained lower biomass and lower energy than smooth sumac but contained higher crude protein and lower condensed tannins. High condensed tannins in plants can decrease intake. Therefore, bristly locust and sericea lespedeza are two promising woody browse species for the Southern US. Further research is needed to compare browse utilization of these species by small ruminants.
Technical Abstract: Forage yields from grasses are markedly reduced during hot and dry summer months in the Southern US; therefore, browse species could add feed options for small ruminants. Our objective was to compare total biomass and forage nutritive value of three browse species: bristly locust (Robinia hispida), sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) and smooth sumac (Rhus glabra). Plants were sampled monthly for two consecutive growing seasons in 2012 and 2013 to determine foliar, shoot, and total aboveground biomass, and foliar nutritive value [crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), and condensed tannins (CT)]. There was a species × harvest time interaction on foliar biomass yield (P = 0.0125). Such interaction was due to low yield in bristly locust compared with sericea lespedeza and smooth sumac in June, but in all other months yield was similar across all species. Bristly locust had the highest CP (16.9%), followed by sericea lespedeza (14.8%) and smooth sumac (12.3%). Acid detergent fiber and ADL were similar between bristly locust and sericea lespedeza, which were higher than smooth sumac. Smooth sumac had highest CT, was intermediate in bristly locust and lowest in sericea lespedeza. Plant foliar percentage in smooth sumac was highest (55.1%), followed by sericea lespedeza (47.7%) and bristly locust (42.6%). In conclusion, smooth sumac had the highest foliar biomass and foliar percentage and lowest ADF and ADL; however, smooth sumac had the lowest CP and highest CT. Further research is needed to compare browse utilization of these species by small ruminants.