Track 1-02

Description

Despite the high potential of tropical forage species, herbage production, nutritive value and animal productivity in Brazilian livestock production systems are lower than what can be obtained from both a biological and operational point of view (Pedreira and Mello 2000, Da Silva and Sbrissia 2000). Even with these limitations, the livestock industry is often able to sustain high productivity levels (animal product per hectare) by using good animal genetics and supplementation. Reducing production costs, however, will likely depend on the identification and incorporation of a high-quality forage resource, in terms of both improving diet quality of grazing animals and sustaining pasture soil productivity. The search for economically viable and sustainable forage production alternatives has been the subject of a great deal of research in many parts of the world. Among the alternatives explored, the diversification of pastures by the introduction of forage legumes in traditional production systems has been suggested, mainly to improve soil chemical characteristics (increased nitrogen levels) and improve forage quality (Perez 2004, Valentim and Andrade 2004). Promising legume germplasm is available in the tropics, but before these materials are incorporated into commercial systems, they need to be evaluated for adaptation, productivity and persistence in specific micro-environments. In addition, interactions involving grazing management strategies and genotypes should be described and explained, so that their agronomic potential can be explored.

The aim of this study was to characterise sward structure of 4 perennial peanut genotypes subjected to 2 harvest management strategies, in south-eastern Brazil.

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Sward Structural Characteristics of Perennial Peanut Genotypes as Affected by Harvest Frequency

Despite the high potential of tropical forage species, herbage production, nutritive value and animal productivity in Brazilian livestock production systems are lower than what can be obtained from both a biological and operational point of view (Pedreira and Mello 2000, Da Silva and Sbrissia 2000). Even with these limitations, the livestock industry is often able to sustain high productivity levels (animal product per hectare) by using good animal genetics and supplementation. Reducing production costs, however, will likely depend on the identification and incorporation of a high-quality forage resource, in terms of both improving diet quality of grazing animals and sustaining pasture soil productivity. The search for economically viable and sustainable forage production alternatives has been the subject of a great deal of research in many parts of the world. Among the alternatives explored, the diversification of pastures by the introduction of forage legumes in traditional production systems has been suggested, mainly to improve soil chemical characteristics (increased nitrogen levels) and improve forage quality (Perez 2004, Valentim and Andrade 2004). Promising legume germplasm is available in the tropics, but before these materials are incorporated into commercial systems, they need to be evaluated for adaptation, productivity and persistence in specific micro-environments. In addition, interactions involving grazing management strategies and genotypes should be described and explained, so that their agronomic potential can be explored.

The aim of this study was to characterise sward structure of 4 perennial peanut genotypes subjected to 2 harvest management strategies, in south-eastern Brazil.