Moringa Is An Alternative Food For Cattle In Drought

A multipurpose, drought-resistant, fast-growing tree with medicinal properties, also used as a food supplement for undernourished children, it is currently a research source for cattle feeding in times of drought.

These are just some of the many applications of Moringa (Moringa oleifera), a tree species of the Moringaceae family, originally from India. Everything is usable in it: the leaves: rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, proteins, iron and potassium and the roots that serve as food. The seeds, on the other hand, produce oil and when crushed they serve for water treatment.

The Embrapa Pantanal researcher, Frederico Olivieri Lisita, has been carrying out research for three years with forages with a high protein content to feed cattle in the dry season, and Moringa has stood out among the various species studied. There are several reasons: it reaches the cutting point for forage with only 6 months, it is easy to grow and, because it has flexible stems, it is easy to handle for cutting. In addition, it is a pest resistant plant. During planting, no industrial agricultural inputs are used, thus reducing the cost of production. There are currently no studies published in Brazil on the application of Moringa in animal feed supplementation.

The Embrapa Pantanal researcher develops the experiments on a rural property, in the Tamarineiro II - Sul settlement, where Moringas are planted to evaluate the results. During the research, tests are being carried out on the production of green and dry matter, proteins and fibers from species planted in different spacings. The results are expected to be published by the end of 2012. The owner of the site, José Luiz Rosenes Freitas, known as Zezinho, used Moringa in the last drought to feed the cattle and approved: "Ideal period for planting Every year, between the months of May and October, the residents of the settlements in the Corumbá region suffer from drought and often lose the only good they have: cattle, which die for lack of food.

According to Lisita, this rainy season is ideal for planting Moringa. With early planting, it is possible to produce a good amount of forage, enough to feed the cattle in periods of little pasture. One of the objectives of the work, carried out in the settlements, is to raise the awareness of residents by presenting an alternative to minimize the effects of drought on livestock, through the production of forage.