Offered Papers Theme A: Efficient Production from Grassland

Description

The potential of neotropical savannas is very large for pasture-based livestock systems. There are 250 million ha of well-drained lowland savannas in the American tropics. Over 200 million ha are situated in the Cerrados region of Brazil. The Cerrados support 42% of the national herd. Although these ranges support large populations of livestock, productivity is generally low. Poor nutritive value of native pastures and monospecific swards of Brachiaria spp. is the principal cause of this low productivity, especially in the dry season when these grasslands often provide no more than 60% of the animal's maintenance requirements. The best option to increase pasture/livestock productivity is the use of improved pastures, particularly those based on adapted tropical legume-grass associations. Research in tropical America was concentrated on the evaluation and selection of Stylosanthes species adapted to low fertility acid-soils and resistant to anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Anthracnose is considered the major limitation to the commercial use of Stylosanthes on a world-wide basis.

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Recent Advances in Stylosanthes Research in Tropical America

The potential of neotropical savannas is very large for pasture-based livestock systems. There are 250 million ha of well-drained lowland savannas in the American tropics. Over 200 million ha are situated in the Cerrados region of Brazil. The Cerrados support 42% of the national herd. Although these ranges support large populations of livestock, productivity is generally low. Poor nutritive value of native pastures and monospecific swards of Brachiaria spp. is the principal cause of this low productivity, especially in the dry season when these grasslands often provide no more than 60% of the animal's maintenance requirements. The best option to increase pasture/livestock productivity is the use of improved pastures, particularly those based on adapted tropical legume-grass associations. Research in tropical America was concentrated on the evaluation and selection of Stylosanthes species adapted to low fertility acid-soils and resistant to anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Anthracnose is considered the major limitation to the commercial use of Stylosanthes on a world-wide basis.