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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
SOUSA, Braulio Maia de Lana; NASCIMENTO JUNIOR, Domicio do; MONTEIRO, Hélida Christhine de Freitas and FONSECA, Dilermando Miranda da. Dynamics of production and forage utilization on elephant grass pastures managed with different post-grazing heights. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.8, pp.1840-1847. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000800006.
This study was conducted to evaluate the daily production of forage and its morphological components, as well as the potential of forage utilization in pastures of Pennisetum purpureum cv. Napier managed with three post-grazing heights (30, 50 and 70 cm). Two experiments were carried out: one from February to May 2009 and another from December 2009 to May 2010, characterizing months of summer and fall. The experimental design was of completely randomized blocks with three replicates. The grazing was performed by crossbred heifers of approximately 270 kg body weight, when the sward intercepted 95% of the incoming light. In both experiments, the pastures managed with post-grazing height of 30 cm, in the summer months (December to March), presented lower daily production of leaves and stems, as well as less daily leaf senescence, which resulted in lower daily forage production and accumulation in comparison with those managed at 70 and 50 cm. In the period from February to March 2009 (experiment 1) and December 2009 to March 2010 (experiment 2), pastures presented greater daily production of leaves and forage, greater daily forage accumulation and more daily leaf senescence in relation to the months of April and May 2009 and 2010. On the other hand, the daily production of stems was higher in the fall, in comparison with the summer. Therefore, elevation in the post-grazing height, especially in the summer, increases the regrowth vigor of elephant grass cv. Napier.
Keywords : light interception; pasture management; pasture structure; Pennisetum purpureum.