BULAWAYO, Thursday, November 3, 1966 — Remarkable results are being achieved in Rhodesia with a new cattlefeeding system in which the basic feed is citrus pulp silage.
The feed has already proved itself a cheap and nutritious maintenance ration for tiding cattle over the dry season. In some countries dry citrus pulp meal is included in stock feeds, but feeding with citrus pulp silage on a large commercial scale is believed to be unique. For many years the disposal of a great volume of pulp from juice extraction plants has been a problem at Mazoe Citrus Estates north of Salisbury.
But this year, after a successful trial at the nearby Henderson Research Station, the pulp is being fed as wet silage to a herd of 650 breeding cows. The results are so remarkable that the old problem of has given way to a new one: will there be enough waste pulp to meet future needs?
The cows have free access to the pulp day and night and also get a small quantity of protein concentrate and veld hay. During the harshest period of the year they gain on an average of 3/4 lb a day, considered ideal for breeding animals. Until a few years ago cattle farming has been a relatively minor undertaking on the estates. Today there are four large herds — 650 steers, all in pens, and about 1400 cattle for breeding animals. It is planned rapidly to increase their number to 6 500.
The estates owned by the Anglo American Corporation cover about 53 000 acres. On the sheltered western side more than 290 000 citrus trees thrive in neatly patterned groves established in rich alluvial soil. The soil on the exposed eastern side is essentially granitic loams, supporting a good cover of sour veld on which the cattle graze during the rainy season.
The climate is temperate and rainfall 35in. Under these conditions an integrated citrus, maize, cattle farming programme is being carried out under the supervision of the general manager, MR PJ Meiring. The livestock is being managed by an imaginative Dutch livestock specialist, Mr HJ van Veen, who trained in Holland before coming out some 14 years ago to South Africa and from there to Mazoe.