Track 1-02

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Approximately half the world’s beef is produced in the tropics and subtropics, almost exclusively on pasture. While the world production of beef and veal increased 91% over the past 40 years, the increase in the tropics was 200%. Brazil has today the largest commercial cattle herd in the world (about 190 M head) and is the world's largest exporter of beef. The area of cultivated pasture increased from 30 to 100 Mha between 1970 and 1995 (IBGE 2006). This area has now stabilised or decreased despite the increase in beef production, which reflects the gain in area productivity. Part of the cultivated pasture expansion till 1995 resulted from the replacement of native pasture, and part from the opening of the Brazilian Cerrados, but the main contributing factor to the increase in livestock production was the use of more productive cultivars and intensification in the management of cultivated pastures.

The demand for productive and high quality forages continues to be high. Very few cultivars are commercially available, and the majority of these display apomictic reproduction, resulting in no novel genetic variation. New cultivars are urgently needed to increase pasture diversification as insurance against the extensive mono-cultures formed in central Brazil. The cultivars released mainly by Embrapa, were developed mostly by selection from the natural variability in germplasm collections, reflecting the success of this methodology, and account for over 70% of the forage seed available commercially. This paper presents data on a new cultivar of Brachiaria brizantha, selected for soils of medium fertility with a well defined dry season.

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BRS Paiaguás: A New Brachiaria (Urochloa) Cultivar for Tropical Pastures in Brazil

Approximately half the world’s beef is produced in the tropics and subtropics, almost exclusively on pasture. While the world production of beef and veal increased 91% over the past 40 years, the increase in the tropics was 200%. Brazil has today the largest commercial cattle herd in the world (about 190 M head) and is the world's largest exporter of beef. The area of cultivated pasture increased from 30 to 100 Mha between 1970 and 1995 (IBGE 2006). This area has now stabilised or decreased despite the increase in beef production, which reflects the gain in area productivity. Part of the cultivated pasture expansion till 1995 resulted from the replacement of native pasture, and part from the opening of the Brazilian Cerrados, but the main contributing factor to the increase in livestock production was the use of more productive cultivars and intensification in the management of cultivated pastures.

The demand for productive and high quality forages continues to be high. Very few cultivars are commercially available, and the majority of these display apomictic reproduction, resulting in no novel genetic variation. New cultivars are urgently needed to increase pasture diversification as insurance against the extensive mono-cultures formed in central Brazil. The cultivars released mainly by Embrapa, were developed mostly by selection from the natural variability in germplasm collections, reflecting the success of this methodology, and account for over 70% of the forage seed available commercially. This paper presents data on a new cultivar of Brachiaria brizantha, selected for soils of medium fertility with a well defined dry season.