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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

Print version ISSN 0100-0683On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


FIDALSKI, Jonez  and  ALVES, Sérgio José. Grazing Height of Brachiaria and Stocking Rate Limited by Soil Physical Properties Three Years Into an Integrated Soybean Crop-Livestock System. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2015, vol.39, n.3, pp.864-870. ISSN 0100-0683.

Management of forage grazing height by cattle may compromise soil physical properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of grazing height of brachiaria (Urochloa ruziziensis) and the average stocking rate, after three years into an integrated soybean crop-livestock system, in the physical attributes of a Haplorthox (Rhodic Ferralsol). A randomized complete block experimental design with three replications was used. Five treatments were evaluated in 1 ha experimental plots: grazing heights of 10, 20, 30, and 40 cm at 84 days after continuous grazing, maintaining variable stocking rates of cattle, and a control treatment without grazing. In November 2012, after the third grazing period, with average stocking rate of 1,262; 919; 892; and 724 kg of ha-1 live weight, respectively, for grazing heights of 10, 20, 30 and 40 cm, undisturbed soil samples were taken from the 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm soil layers, which were used to determine the water retention curve, the soil resistance to penetration curve, and soil bulk density (Db), as well as to calculate the least limiting water range (LLWR). The lowest Db occurred in the 0-10 cm layer for the brachiaria height of 31 cm corresponding 72 % maximum stocking rate. The greatest LLWR occurred in the 10-20 cm layer the brachiaria height of 23 cm corresponding 83 % of the maximum stocking rate. Management of the grazing height of brachiaria was limited to the height of 23 cm for higher stocking rate and better physical attributes of the 10-20 cm soil layer of the Haplorthox.

Keywords : Caiuá Sandstone; soil compaction; soil bulk density; least limiting water range; soil management.

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