Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
SILVA, Edilane Aparecida da et al. Chemical composition and photosynthetically active radiation of forage grasses under irrigation. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.3, pp. 583-591. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000300015.
The present study aimed to estimate the photosynthetically active radiation of tropical forage grasses in ten cutting dates, under irrigation. The following treatments were used: Brachiaria decumbens grass (Brachiaria decumbens cultivar Basilisk), Marandu grass (Brachiaria brizantha cultivar Marandu), Xaraes grass (Brachiaria brizantha, cultivar Xaraes), Mombaça grass (Panicum maximum cultivar Mombaça), Tanzania grass (Panicum maximum, cultivar Tanzania) and Tifton 85 grass (Cynodon spp cultivar Tifton 85). The weather parameters were collected by an automatic meteorological station installed in the location and used for irrigation management. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot completely randomized block design, considering the grasses as plots and cutting seasons as subplots, with four replications in a 6 × 10 factorial arrangement, six grasses and ten cutting seasons. The results indicated increased use of photosynthetically active radiation in the wet season, in relation to the dry-wet season transition. Basilisk presented the highest values of photosynthetically active radiation (1,648.9 mE). The variables studied were affected by photosynthetically active radiation. The grass cultivars presented different light interceptions. The values of 87; 90; 90; 88; 92 and 77% were found for grass cultivars Basilisk, Marandu, Mombaça, Tanzania, Xaraes and Tifton 85, respectively. Differences were observed in forage accumulation rates for the grass plants studied. The grasses with the best productive performance were Brachiaria decumbens cultivar Basilisk and B. brizantha cultivar Xaraes. The highest values of crude protein and neutral detergent fiber were observed for Tifton 85. The use of photosynthetically active radiation was different among the grasses evaluated. There is a positive association between photosynthetically active radiation and dry matter production. Besides, photosynthetically active radiation indirectly affects crude protein and forage neutral detergent fiber.
Keywords : forage production; growth; seasonality; vegetation dynamics; weather.