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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


CAETANO, Hamilton et al. Bromatological evaluation of eleven corn cultivars harvested at two cutting heights. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.1, pp.11-17. ISSN 1806-9290.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition and dry matter in vitro digestibility of stem, leaf, straw, cob and kernel fractions of eleven corn (Zea mays) cultivars, harvested at two cutting heights. The experiment was designed as randomized blocks, with three replicates, in a 2 × 11 factorial arrangement (eleven cultivars and two cutting heights). The corn cultivars evaluated were D 766, D 657, D 1000, P 3021, P 3041, C 805, C 333, AG 5011, FOR 01, CO 9621 and BR 205, harvested at a low cutting height (5 cm above ground) and a high cutting height (5 cm below the first ear insertion). Cutting height influenced the dry matter content of the stem fraction, which was lower (23.95%) in plants harvested at the low, than in plants harvested at the high cutting height (26.28%). The kernel fraction had the highest dry matter in vitro digestibility (85.13%), while cultivars did not differ between each other. Cob and straw were the fractions with the highest level of neutral detergent fiber (80.74 and 79.77%, respectively) and the lowest level of crude protein (3.84% and 3.69%, respectively). The leaf fraction had the highest crude protein content, both for plants of low and high cuttings (15.55% and 16.20%, respectively). The increase in the plant cutting height enhanced the dry matter content and dry matter in vitro digestibility of stem fraction, but did not affect the DM content of the leaf fraction.

Keywords : forage; in vitro digestibility; ruminant; Zea mays.

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