Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
MEINERZ, Gilmar Roberto et al. Forage production and nutritive value of elephantgrass in two production systems. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.12, pp.2673-2680. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982011001200009.
The objective of this research was to evaluate elephantgrass pasture on forage production and stocking rate, comparing conventional and agro-ecological production systems. In the conventional system, elephantgrass was established in a singular form, in rows spaced by 1.4 m. In the agro-ecological system, the elephantgrass was established spaced by 3 m and, in the space between lines, ryegrass in cool season was introduced, allowing the development of spontaneous growing species in the warm-season. Herbage mass, forage production, daily accumulation rate of dry matter, botanical and structural composition and stocking rate were evaluated. Hand-plucking samples were collected to determine crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, in vitro digestibility of dry and organic matter. The experimental design was completely randomized, with two treatments (conventional and agro-ecological systems), two replications (paddocks) and repeated measures (grazing cycles). Higher values of herbage mass, forage production, daily accumulation rate of dry matter and stocking rate were observed in the conventional system. Leaf blade/steam ratio was similar between systems. Higher values of crude protein were observed in the agro-ecological system. Elephantgrass in conventional system presents higher forage production with lower values of crude protein. The agro-ecological system presents best forage distribution throughout the year.
Keywords : agroecology; dairy cattle; intercropped pastures; Lolium multiflorum; Pennisetum purpureum.