The use of foggage as winter feed for animal maintenance is unlikely to totally replace hay and/or silage, but should be used as an alternative for the early winter. The most important objective in producing foggage is to feed animals to at least maintain body weight through the winter season. As foggage is generally not a high quality feed, it usually can not be used for producing animals without supplementation. Using foggage can also mininise expensive inputs, such as labour and machinery. This is the single most outstanding advantage of using pasture foggage over hay, haylage, crop residues or silage. Although pastures also have establishment and fertilizer costs, these are less than costs associated with intensive annual crops. Many pastures are also perennial, which means less establishment costs. This emphasises the importance for less intensive farming systems. Depending on what the objectives of the farmer are, he can manage foggage to produce a high yield with a lower quality or vice versa. Thus it is critical to maintain a balance between yield and quality. Foggage quality was inversely related to the growing season after the pasture was closed-up and thus the quality will be lower with earlier closing-up time. Fertilisation, especially with nitrogen, will increase the nutritive value of the product (6% - 12%CP). The aim of this study was to determine which pasture provides the best foggage in different scenarios. The conclusion is, therefore, that a farmer must first decide on his management plan and where his foggage will fit in. Then it is recommended to choose the species (or accession) that is best adapted to his specific area of farming. Silk sorghum and Coastcross II had the best yields recorded. Smutsfinger grass was very palatable, had high digestibility and would, therefore, be recommended for quality in the higher rainfall eastern parts of the country. Because of their drought resistance, Molopo and Kleingrass will be recommended for the warmer areas with less rainfall and Molopo especially for small farmers who lack overall grazing management skills or infrastructure.
Dissertation (MSc (Agric) Pasture Science)--University of Pretoria, 2006.