To meet the needs of ranchers in Hawaii to increase the production,
sustainability and quality of forage through environmentally sound
and economically competitive practices.
Collaboration with Jim
Brewbaker resulted in the introduction of a seedless hybrid variety
(K1000) of Leucaena leucocephaia into a portion the forage plots
at elevations from 3000 ft to 4500 ft. This forage will be tested
for production and resistance to grazing pressure after establishment
at higher elevations. A control plot was also established at the
low plot at 500 ft.
A plot allocation was
also secured at the Kula Experiment Station and a seed source orchard
(30 trees) was established for another variety (KX2) of Leucaena
Two of the grasses planted in the upper elevation plots show promise
after 5 yrs of grazing and drought. Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens)
and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) are still present. Signal grass
is the more vigorous survivor.
At the low elevation exclousure the Stylosanthes scraba seca, was
established with the grasses and survived the drought period but
did not stand up to the heavy grazing trial. Tripsacum dactyolides
recovered from a heavy grazing trial and the drought period. After
the legume, Stylosanthes, was grazed out a forage peanut variety
was planted and survived the drought and the grazing. The Suerte,
(Paspalum atratum) and the buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) survived
and seeding has begun this year. The Suerte (Paspalum atratum) seed
and the forage peanut seed, Amarillo, were gleaned from a small
plot at the Mealani field station.
In the low elevation
plot seeds from the first planting of Suerte were harvested and
re-planted. The area for the Suerte was doubled to accommodate this
planting. This year both sections will be harvested and the seed
made available for another working plot at a higher elevation with
rotational grazing using weaned steers. The low elevation plot will
be grazed and re-growth will be measured on a thirty-day cycle for
dry matter and nutrient production.
A newly formed beef production
company, the Maui Cattle Company (Haleakala Ranch, Ulupalakua Ranch,
Hana Ranch, Kipu Kai Ranch and Nobriga feedlot) is negotiating for
up to 2000 acres of out of production pineapple land in and near
the Honakahau Valley on West Maui. The board of directors of the
Maui Cattle Company has requested assistance in converting this
land to irrigated pasture to feed pre-feedlot cattle. This effort
will become part of this project concentrating initially on pH and
fertility and the establishment of forage tree legumes.
Impact: Individual sessions have been
held with 11 cattle producers. The main thrust of this dissemination
of information was to allow producers to see how much production
is possible with irrigation or in another higher rainfall zone at
the low elevation.
In June 2003 a field
day and range/pasture trip was held on Haleakala Ranch that featured
an international grazing consultant, CTAHR specialists and CES Extension
agents. This gathering reached 66 producers, land stewards and other
The Maui Cattle Company plans to utilize the Suerte seed and the
K 1000 seedless forage trees in a venture to produce a locally grown
and marketed natural beef. Suerte has also been selected for the
research grass plots at Waimanalo. The only sources of seed at this
point are the low elevation plots on Maui and the Mealani Field
Station on the Big Island.
Stakeholder Input: Haleakala Ranch
has built all the enclosures and provided all the water lines and
water. The Maui Cattle Company will provide the pasture and water
for continued testing in Pulehu and will also provide the land and
water for further efforts in West Maui pending finalization of an
agreement with the Maui Pineapple Co.
trials are under way for the irrigated grasses. Upper elevation
forage legume trees have been planted and will be evaluated for
establishment, sustainability and total production over the next
several years. This project (13-108) has great potential for enhancing
beef production in the state. Improved amounts and quality of forage
on offer will provide a means to keep more cattle in the state to
produce a locally grown and marketed product while reducing or eliminating
the exorbitant cost of shipping animals to the mainland to be fed.
With the continued in-kind
input of Haleakala Ranch, The Maui Cattle Company, Dr. Brewbaker
and the Maui Land and Pineapple Company this project has positive
potential to help the land stewards in the state. I would like to
request an extension for the year 2003-2004.