Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-204X
EUCLIDES, Valéria Pacheco Batista et al. Forage nutritive value and animal production in Brachiaria brizantha pastures. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 2009, vol.44, n.1, pp. 98-106. ISSN 0100-204X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2009000100014.
The objectives of this work were to evaluate animal production and its relationship with pasture characteristics of Brachiaria brizantha cultivars Marandu, Xaraés and Piatã. The experiment had a randomized complete block design, with three treatments and two replicates. Two-ha paddocks were divided into two and submitted to alternated grazing, with 28 days of grazing and 28 days of rest. Three tester steers were kept in each paddock; additional steers were placed in each paddock by the put and take technique, to assure post grazing residues of about 3 Mg ha-1 of dry matter. The pastures were sampled monthly to estimate the nutritive value of the forage. The animals were weighted, and the stocking rate was adjusted twice a week. Despite the lower average daily gain (ADG), in the cv. Xaraés pasture, the stocking rate was greater, which resulted in greater productivity, in comparison with cvs. Marandu and Piatã. The pasture with cv. Piatã had the highest ADG. These results indicate that cvs. Xaraés and Piatã are new alternatives for Cerrado pastures. The choice of the forage cultivar should fit the animal and production system targets.
Keywords : Cerrado; Marandu; Piatã; Xaraés; forage allowance; stocking rate.