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Bamboo in Ohio for fodder

 
Thomas Clodfelter
Posts: 19
Location: McDermott Ohio
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Has anyone grown bamboo in Ohio as fodder for livestock (goats, cattle)?
I'm interested in using it as building materials as well as food for the animals.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom
 
John Elliott
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Some bamboos are more palatable than others. They contain differing amounts of cyanogenic (meaning it produces cyanide) glycosides that can be a problem for species that do not have the gut chemistry to process the cyanides. We humans don't have that gut chemistry, but we have learned how to cook, and boiling bamboo shoots is how we take care of that.

If you want to locate a species of bamboo that (a) is a palatable fodder and (b) grows in the the cold climate of Ohio, the first place for you to start would be the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden where they have a collection of over 150 species of bamboo. I would say "from all over the world", but bamboo is not from all over the world, it is a plant that is endemic to Eastern Asia. Bamboo that you find in other places has been brought there by man. But as far as a permaculture, it is an excellent plant to consider, since it will propagate from the roots and keep a continuous stand growing for years and years.
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 111
Location: West Iowa
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One of the Phyllostachys species will do what you want. Some areas of Ohio may be too cold for consistent yield of building materials though, but fodder wouldn't be a problem anywhere there.
 
Jennifer Charlton-Dennis
Posts: 61
Location: North East Ohio
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How well does bamboo grow in our climate? (Ohio) That's where I'm at too!
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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John Elliott : I grew up listening to the tall tales spun by local raconteurs, who all swore to have born in the time before the extinction of the passenger pigeon,
and they all speak of a species of local bamboo like growth in the river bottoms, Allowing for the growth of tall tales to fit the times, like the continuing legend
of the Cowboy, there is stillmuch similarity to their combined stories and I hate to abandon them completely, the stories of American species of bamboo
linked tall grasses must be given a little credence ! Is there no hope for Tradition and legend at all?

P.S. a friend loves youg bamboo sprouts and with heavy mulching has made them winter-over as a late to very late crop in extreme northern new york ! Big AL !!
 
John Elliott
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allen lumley wrote: John Elliott : I grew up listening to the tall tales spun by local raconteurs, who all swore to have born in the time before the extinction of the passenger pigeon,
and they all speak of a species of local bamboo


Are they old enough to remember the Cretaceous? That would be when the original ancestor of the first flowering plants arose in what is now China. So if you go back far enough, bamboo, since it is a flowering plant, originally came from China.

However, this reference describes a petrified bamboo culm from the Pliocene and it was found in Argentina, so maybe I was wrong in attributing all bamboo dispersal to man. It seemed to me though, that all of the bamboos at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden had been collected from east Asia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. That was a time when they were trying to look for alternative crops to be growing in the South, as the boll weevil was doing a number on cotton cultivation.
 
wayne stephen
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Perhaps those old codgers Allen speaks of remember arundinaria gigantea. It's native range extends from Texas to New York . Apparently buffalo and then cattle thrived on it . I have it growing closeby and have used it for bean poles . Could be useful for many things . Here is an article about restoring it in Kentucky :

http://tomeblen.bloginky.com/2012/09/04/raising-cane-to-restore-kentuckys-historic-natural-landscape/

And another link that states passenger pidgeons found this cane suitable habitat :

http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1279

Allen is wise to listen to old codgers from the Cretaceous age , there is wisdom in them old bones .
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Not to diverge from the original topic of bamboo as fodder but native cane also may provide you with a nice cottage industry income . Here is a link to using this native grass for making Celtic and Native American flutes :

http://www.sammytedder.com/rvrcane.htm

Simple instructions for using this grass for cane fishing poles :

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2010/jun/13/do-it-yourself-fishing-poles-20100613/

And some info from the US Duh about using this as fodder :

IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:
Cane provides high quality forage for cattle, horses, swine, and domestic sheep [62]. Because it is evergreen, cane is good for grazing year-round [4]. Cane was once widely utilized as a forage plant for cattle and domestic sheep across much of the southeastern U.S. In Mississippi cane was once commonly called "mutton grass" because of its value as domestic sheep forage [62]. Because of the dramatic reduction in cane habitat, it is generally no longer considered a valuable range forage plant [46].
Cane is easily damaged by grazing and the rooting of swine, and stands may take years to recover from damage [20,51,91]. Overgrazing is considered 1 of the major factors involved in the decrease of cane habitat in the U.S. following European settlement [7]. Plants are most susceptible to grazing damage in the spring and summer [4]. Continuous summer grazing can cause a decline in cane stem density and a reduction in stem height [54]. According to a 1971 handbook, no more than 50% of the current year's growth should be grazed off in any season. It is also recommended that summer grazing be deferred for at least 90 days every 2 to 3 years. Controlled burns every 3 to 4 years can be used to maintain cane fields and improve forage value. Burned fields must be protected from grazing for the first growing season to allow the cane to recover [62].

Palatability/nutritional value: Where it occurs, cane is 1 of the most palatable and preferred forages by cattle, and it can comprise the bulk of the animal's diet when abundant [91]. The crude protein, calcium, and phosphorus content of cane average higher than other native southern grasses [46]. Digestible nutrients in cane foliage are highest in May and June and decline rapidly during the remainder of the summer and fall [55].

 
Leila Rich
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Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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wayne stephen wrote: It's native range extends from Texas to New York . Apparently buffalo and then cattle thrived on it . I have it growing closeby and have used it for bean poles . Could be useful for many things

I was sure I'd commented on the awesomness of this giant grass earlier in the thread
Who needs bamboo when you've got arundinaria gigantea?!
 
wayne stephen
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I am sure it can be used in grey water reclaimation . It was a major part of wetland ecosystems and nutrient mediation . Grey water systems might be a good way to have this plant in a controlled setting .
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 302
Location: Upstate SC
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John Elliott wrote:Some bamboos are more palatable than others. They contain differing amounts of cyanogenic (meaning it produces cyanide) glycosides that can be a problem for species that do not have the gut chemistry to process the cyanides. We humans don't have that gut chemistry, but we have learned how to cook, and boiling bamboo shoots is how we take care of that.

If you want to locate a species of bamboo that (a) is a palatable fodder and (b) grows in the the cold climate of Ohio, the first place for you to start would be the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden where they have a collection of over 150 species of bamboo. I would say "from all over the world", but bamboo is not from all over the world, it is a plant that is endemic to Eastern Asia. Bamboo that you find in other places has been brought there by man. But as far as a permaculture, it is an excellent plant to consider, since it will propagate from the roots and keep a continuous stand growing for years and years.


Although eastern Asia has the most bamboo species, South America has many native bamboo species, central America and Africa also have a number of native bamboos, and there are 3 bamboos (Arundinaria gigantea, A. tecta, A. appalachiana) native to the eastern United States. In addition to past overgrazing, the spread of invasive non-native plants such as Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese wisteria, and privet into its habitat has limited its comeback.

I'm growing several Phyllostachys species, Semiarundinaria, and Hibanobambusa here in upstate SC that I use as fodder to feed my sheep in late winter after they have grazed the grass down in their pastures.
 
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