Economical impact on milk production of a grazing system with grass-legume tree associations in the South of the Maracaibo lake, Venezuela
The South area of the Maracaibo lake has a high potential for animal production, however, indices of productivity are not as expected. As economically viable alternative the introduction of tree legumes in the grass pastures is presented. The leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) and matarratón (Gliricidia sepium) which have been evaluated for INIA (National Institute of Agriculture Research) and ULA-IIAP (Institute of Agriculture Research of the Universidad de los Andes) in Judibana farm, property of the ULA. The establishment of these mixtures under that farm conditions required an average investment of 381.566 Bs per hectare ($ 513). For the 1994 to 1998 period, there was a milk production increment of 5.798 L/ha.year and 1.86 animal units/ha more in improved system with mixtures. Economically, additionals incomes of 1.333.635 Bs/ha.year ($1793,8/ha.year),were obtained at a referential price of 230 Bs/L of milk ($ 0.31),with the new grazing system. Return indexes of 391 for first year and 6227% for the even years and infinite in the odds. In the sensibility analysis, return indexes were only changed under extreme variation of milk prices, per cow or per surfaces productions, incremental costs of establishment, otherwise remain unalterable. The tree legume-grass association systems, allows significant productivity increments, improving the economical output of the farm.