Dubeux, 2011. Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)
Recent estimates have shown an upcoming scenario of increasing use of natural resources, including water. Demand for cereal crops is also increasing with increasing global population. Use of cacti (Opuntia and Nopalea) for livestock feeding in semiarid regions is an important alternative to cope with increasing grain prices in the global market. Cacti are better suited for semiarid environments and out yield most annual grain crops in harsh environments. Research on cactus has started in Brazil since the 1950´s and progress has been made. Knowledge on cactus production and utilization has increased, particularly in the last two decades. Agronomic practices, genetic improvement, and improved feeding systems have all contributed for the recent progress achieved in animal production systems using cactus. Incorporation of semiarid lands to production systems is an important way to increase farm sustainability in these areas. Local feed production increases food security and may increase farm profitability. This document presents some information on cactus production and utilization based on the Brazilian experience. This material was put together by a group of researchers from UFRPE and IPA, both institutions based in Pernambuco State, Brazil, and historically working together on the Cactus research program. The aim of this material is to share with other countries the Brazilian experience with use of cactus for livestock feeding. We greatly acknowledge the work done by Djalma Santos from IPA and his group, not only contributing with their research experience but also providing on-farm experiences as short movies recorded on different farming systems in the semiarid region of Pernambuco, Brazil.
The attached document contains videos that can also be watched on Feedipedia's YouTube channel.
This document presents some information on cactus production and utilization based on the Brazilian experience. It includes videos that can also be watched on Feedipedia's YouTube channel.