Progress 09/01/11 to 08/31/12
OUTPUTS: Louisiana State University and the USDA/ARS in Booneville, AR completed three studies on feeding sericea lespedeza (SL) to lambs to examine the effect on coccidiosis, a disease of domestic animals and birds caused by coccidia, an internal parasite found in the intestines. A study which began in 2010 to examine the long term effects of feeding SL for parasite control was continued. A study was conducted at ARS on long term feeding of SL pellets to goats on pasture for parasite control. Fort Valley State University conducted a study to determine the impact of harvesting SL at different growth phases and under different management conditions on leaf quality. A trial feeding SL pellets to recently-weaned goat kids infected with gastrointestinal nematodes and coccidia was completed. USDA/ARS in Fayetteville, AR performed a study to determine if chickens maintained on pastures would consume SL. Sims Brothers, Inc. completed construction of a mill to pelletize sericea lespedeza. Feed pellets are being marketed and sold to goat and sheep ranchers for parasite control purposes. PARTICIPANTS: Sims Brothers Inc - Thomas Sims, Sims Brothers, Inc., PI, president of company, in charge of farming operations and overseeing construction of pellet mill and the manufacturing process. Cynthia Smithart, Secretary-Treasurer,in charge of accounting, correspondence, submission of reports, and marketing. Robbins Sims, Vice President, consultant and business relations. All above involved in decision making. Sherlene Sims - customer relations and office duties. Bob Rives, Jimmy F. Thompkins, Ethan Evans, Josh Taylor - farm employees involved in planting maintaing and harvesting crops and pellet manufacturing process. Collaborators - Dr. Joan Burke, USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR - Head of research. Student employee - collect and analyze samples, animal upkeep. USDA, ARS, Fayetteville, AR - Dr. Annie Donoghue, head of research. Dr. Jonathan Moyle - oversee day to day progress for NW Arkansas project and manage projects under PPPSRU portion. Robert Frank-undergraduate student worker and lab assistant. LSU - Dr. James Miller, head of research. Fort Valley State University - Dr. Thomas Terrill - head of research. Pre-bac student - lab assistant, animal upkeep. Graduate assistant - lab analysist. Consultant - Dr. Jorge Mosjidis, Auburn University, Agronomy & Soils, Plant Breeder. Advisor on sericea lespedeza and sun hemp. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target market for sericea lespedeza pellets are those owners of small ruminants, exotic animals and other hoofstock plagued by internal parasites. All research being peformed aids consumers, other research institutions including members of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, graduate and other assistants. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Severe summer drought affected trials at the USDA, ARS in Fayetteville, AR, as a source of Ascaridia galli could not be found. Studies will resume when a source is located. Studies on coccidia in poultry will also be performed. Sims Brothers has produced approximately 70 tons of pellets thus far in 2012. A problem with molding occured with several tons, but the addition of air conditioning to the cooling process appears to be working. Obtaining consistency in the harvesting and pelleting processes has been slow but are being addressed and results are promising. Little advice could be obtained as pelleting this material is a new venture. Current freight rates are detrimental to sales in trying to keep the price affordable. Feed stores are being approached to stock the product in an effort to keep the price per bag competitive and to service the areas most in need of the product. Future trials will involve including an additional source of protein to the pellets while keeping the condensed tannin level sufficient to control parasites.
Research has proven that goats and sheep who consume fresh sericea lespedeza (SL) or SL hay have reduced levels of Haemonchus Contortus, a gastrointestinal parasite. Recent studies determined that SL also reduces incidences of coccidia. The condensed tannins found in SL are believed to be the catalyst. Studies reflect that long term feeding of pellets made from SL is effective. Control of internal parasites is one of the hardest challenges faced by goat,sheep,and poultry producers as over the counter pharmaceuticals are becoming less effective from over-use. Research has determined that the use of SL for treatment of coccidiosis could reduce animal loss post weaning, reduce the need to treat for coccidiosis and create an economic benefit to livestock producers (paper to be submitted by September 2012). During long term feeding trials of SL there was excellent control of gastrointestinal nematodes with reduced fecal egg counts. It was determined that feeding SL to young animals during an 8-week weaning period and then withdrawal of SL for four weeks can minimize coccidiosis and problems with parasite worms while insuring that necessary trace minerals are not lost. Data obtained from experiments simulating grazing, hay cutting and no cutting of SL throughout the growing season were analyzed, prediction equations were developed and graphs of each quality component (crude protein, fiber and condensed tannins) will be presented at an upcoming national scientific meeting. It was determined that chickens, which often find diets high in condensed tannins unpalatable, will consume fresh SL as well as leaf meal. Follow up studies will determine the efficacy of SL as a parasite control in poultry. Many goat and sheep ranchers have small acreages and do not have the ability to plant SL as a forage crop. Feed pellets made from SL are being manufactured to aid these ranchers in their parasite control efforts. Also, SL plants become dormant during winter months so pellets can help provide year round control. SL pellets are a natural, easy to use anthelmintic. The pellets contain a minimum of 85% sericea material (leaves) and 15% molasses binder. Molasses makes the pellets more palatable and attractive to the animals. Feedback from current customers indicates the animals will consume the pellets and they are working as intended. The addition of ingredients to boost the protein level to those of other feeds is being considered. Sun Hemp is a high protein legume being tested. Sims Brothers manufactures SL pellets under patent number 7,615,240 B2 licensed by Auburn University. As demand increases, sub-licensees and contract growers will be sought to help meet demand, especially in other areas of the country. Pellets and/or seed will continue to be provided all research institutions by Sims Brothers, Inc.
- Moyle, J.R., Burke, J.M., Fanatico, A.C., Arsi, K., Reyes-Herrera, I., Donoghue, D.J., Wooming, A., Donoghue, A.M., 2012. Palatability of tannin-rich Sericea Lespedeza fed to broilers. Poultry Sci. J Applied Poultry Research, in press. 2012