Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
versão On-line ISSN 1806-9290
DERESZ, Fermino et al. Chemical composition, in vitro dry matter digestibility and forage mass of elephantgrass cv. Napier pasture managed in a rotational grazing system. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.3, pp. 863-869. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982006000300032.
One experiment was run to study the chemical composition, in vitro dry matter digestibility and the dry matter mass of elephantgrass pasture cv. Napier. Estimates of forage mass were accomplished monthly according to the hand plucking technique with samples being taken one day before the cows were turned into the paddocks. Forage samples were taken observing the stubble height of the pasture in the former grazing cycle. Six samples per treatment were collected from high, medium and low representative tuffs in the sampled paddocks. Samples were weighted in order to obtain the average forage yield per treatment on each grazing cycle. Forage subsamples were analyzed for chemical composition (DM, CP, NDF e ADF) and in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD). Pasture was managed in a rotational grazing system of 33 days grazing cycle with three days grazing period and 30 days rest period. There were two replication units per treatment. Twenty four crossbred Holstein x Zebu cows were used, there being eight per treatment. The following treatments were studied: Elephantgrass pasture with no concentrate (T0); Elephantgrass supplemented with concentrate during the first 60 days of lactation (T60) and a 120 days of lactation (T120). Cows on treatments T60 and T120 received 1 kg of concentrate (20% CP and 70% TDN) for each 2 kg of milk above 10 kg, daily. Pasture was fertilized with 1,000 kg/ha/year of a 20:05:20 formula. There was no treatment effect on the forage chemical composition and IVDMD figures. Mean values for CP, NDF, ADF and IVDMD were: 13.6, 69.1, 39.5, and 63.8% for CP, NDF, ADF and IVDMD, respectively. There was no treatment effect on forage mass (1,480; 1,760 and 1,870 kg DM/ha) and daily forage allowance per cow (12.4; 14.7 and 15.6 kg DM/day). There was no treatment effect for milk yield averaging 11.65 kg/cow/day. However there was treatment effect for stage of lactation, which averaged 15.1, 11.6, and 8.2 kg/cow/day for 1 to 60, 60 to 120 and over 120 days, respectively.
Palavras-chave : available forage; tropical grasses; forage quality; lactating cows.