Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira
versão impressa ISSN 0100-204X
PACIULLO, Domingos Sávio Campos et al. Pasture traits and heifer performance in a silvopastoral system and in an exclusive Brachiaria pasture. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 2009, vol.44, n.11, pp. 1528-1535. ISSN 0100-204X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2009001100022.
The objective of this work was to evaluate the pasture characteristics and the performance of heifers from the Holstein x Zebu cross in a silvopastoral system (SPS), and in a Brachiaria (Urochloa decumbens) pasture. The experiment was set up in a randomized block design with two treatments: an exclusive Brachiaria pasture; and SPS, which had mixed U. decumbens and Stylosanthes guianensis strips alternating with strips with trees. Paddocks were grazed in rotational stocking, with seven days of grazing and 35 and 49 days of rest in the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. Pasture traits, dry matter intake and live weight gain did not vary with the systems. However, due to the reduction in the amount and nutritional value of the forage, these variables had higher values for the rainy season than the dry season, respectively: pre-grazing forage mass, 1,525 and 964 kg ha-1; crude protein, 9.3 and 8.2%; in vitro dry matter digestibility, 56.1 and 50.3%; dry matter intake, 2.3 and 1.6% of body weight; and live weight gain, 625 and 242 g per day per heifer. Moderate shading in SPS did not affect pasture traits, dry matter intake, or the performance of the heifers, in comparison to the values obtained for an exclusive Brachiaria pasture.
Palavras-chave : Urochloa decumbens; neutral detergent fiber; forage mass; n-alkanes; crude protein; shading.