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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

versión On-line ISSN 1806-9290


CARASSAI, Igor Justin et al. Rearing of lambs in improved native pasture submitted to nitrogen fertilization: 1. Pasture dynamic. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.8, pp.1338-1346. ISSN 1806-9290.

It was evaluated the effect of nitrogen fertilization (100 and 200 kg/ha of N as urea) on the components of forage production of an improved native pasture with 3.12 ha (paddocks - 0.52 ha). Control areas without application of N were used, using a complete block design with two replications. Paddocks were grazed by lambs in a continuous stocking and variable stocking rate to keep forage allowance of 16% LW. In spring of 2004, pasture was uniformly fertilized with 250 kg/ha of 5-20-20 and N doses were applied during experimental period (summer 2005). Total forage on offer and rate of forage disappearance were not affected by treatments nor the periods of evaluation. Total herbage mass diminished significantly with time and was affected by N doses as function of the accumulation verified prior to the experimental period. All other studied variables showed no significant effect of N due to water deficit. There was no herbage accumulation during the first part of experimental period and accumulation rate only became positive in the last half period. As consequence, herbage height and herbage mass diminished significantly with time. Green forage mass showed inverse behaviour in relation to dead material percentage. The quadratic response of this later component was initially characterized by high values that diminished by the final period with the reestablishment of normal rainfall. By this reason, the green forage allowance was very low and interacted in time with N doses. Volumetric density presented low values when compared to values previously observed in this kind of pasture. However, a tendency for higher values was verified at the end of the observations period. The herbage height and herbage mass presented high correlation (r = 0.87) indicating that herbage height can be a good estimator of herbage mass, in these conditions. In the situation of water deficit, nitrogen fertilization does not contribute to the expression of more intense responses of the studied variables.

Palabras clave : continuous stocking; forage allowance; herbage height; herbage mass; volumetric density.

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