kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-89958-187-4, 2005, 118 Pages
(Journal of Agriculture Beiheft 85)
Zugl.: Kassel, Univ., Diss. 2005
Content: In the tropics the spatial separation of crops and animals often results in a one-way flux of nutrients from the crop fields to the area where animals are kept in the home garden. Simultaneously, there is a tendency towards a reduction of the fallow period after slash and burn. Both factors cause a considerable reduction in the maize yield. In this study three experiments were carried out with the objective to study the nutrient flow and the interactions between the components of the production system (i.e. animal-plant-soil) to identify possibilities to improve the efficiency in the use of available nutrient resources in small pig production systems in the tropic area of Mexico.
The research questions addressed were: (1) what are the differences between Creole and genetically improved pigs with regard to their digestive and metabolic characteristics, (2) what are the benefits of integrating pig and crop production in the same geographic space, and (3) what is the influence of forage in the hindgut of pigs and the implications for soil biology?
The research objectives were to determine: (1) the digestibility and nitrogen balance of low and high quality diets by using improved and Creole breeds, (2) whether the use of pigs in a field rotation system has a beneficial effect on the following cultivation of maize, and (3) the effect of forage on microbial activity in pig faeces kept outdoor and the influence of pig faeces on soil micro-biology.
The results of the study indicate that the feeding of forage can increase the microbial biomass in pig faeces. This tends to improve the microbial activity and biomass in the soil. On the basis of these results the study identifies strategies to improve small-scale farming systems.
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