Evaluation of the biological and economic potentials of cassava foliage (CSF) processing and utilization as feed for water buffalo was conducted at the Philippine Carabao Center, Ubay, Bohol. Analysis showed that fresh CSF contains hydrocyanic acid (HCN) ranging from 86-186 ppm (fresh basis). Wilting or drying reduced HCN content below biologically acceptable level of 80 ppm (dry basis) for low and medium HCN varieties but not for high HCN variety which was reduced only by ensiling. Silage pH (3.5-4.5) and physical appearances Indicated that cassava foliage is a good silage material.
Buffaloes fed with different levels of ensiled cassava foliage showed that average daily gain (ADG) increased (P<0.01) from 0.74 kg in control (0% CSF) to 0.86 kg with 50% CSF in roughage. Feeding CSF at 75% of roughage did not improve animal performance. Dry matter intake was highest at 25% CSF feeding with 2.36% of body weight. This reduced to 2.28% at 50% CSF and 2.14% at 75% CSF. Feed intake reduction at high CSF silage feeding could be attributed to increased HCN ingestion. Sulfur supplementation for HCN detoxification increased (P<0.05) dry matter intake for animals fed 75% CSF. An ADG of 1 kg was attained which could be attributed to increased sulfur content of the diet due to increased concentrate supplementation.
Comparative income analysis of different cassava-based production system showed that income increased from PhP15,360 in cassava without defoliation to P22,160 in cassava with defoliation and PhP36,775 for cassava with livestock integration. Therefore, income in cassava-based farming can be maximized by livestock integration.