This article examines feeding management practices of smallholder producers at two sites in East Java—lowland and upland—in order to assess the potential for improving beef cattle production based on the availability of local feed resources. The research uses data gathered from a survey of 184 farmers in 2010, focusing on household and farm characteristics, cattle numbers, cropping patterns, and feeding practices, especially with regard to rice straw. The findings show that lowland and upland cattle production systems varied, reflecting the different agro-ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the two study sites. The high importance of rice straw as a source of feed was evident in both sites. Most of this feed was obtained from other farms, either directly or by purchase. Greater scarcity of this resource in the upland site means that farmers travelled longer distances and incurred a higher total cost to obtain their supply. Rice straw was dried for 3-4 days and stored in the lofts of cattle sheds. Planted grasses and legumes were also fed to cattle, but there appears to be potential to increase their production and utilization, especially shrub legumes.

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