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Agriculture 202212(2), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020279

Published: 16 February 2022


Tangolagrass (Brachiaria arrecta × Brachiaria mutica) is a stoloniferous warm-season grass considered as an alternative to forming permanent grasslands in waterlogged tropical regions. However, information about grazing management targets for such species is still scarce. This two-year study aimed to identify pre-grazing canopy heights that do not compromise both leaf lamina production and nutritive value of tangolagrass pastures, and to test whether lower canopy height could decrease stolon elongation process. To this end, three pre-grazing canopy heights (20, 30, or 40 cm, all lowered in 40% of their initial heights) were assigned to nine 390-m2 plots grazed by cattle. Herbage, leaf, and stem accumulation rates were not different among treatments (57, 23, and 27 kg DM ha−1 d−1, respectively; p > 0.05). Also, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) were similar among treatments (56 and 24% DM, respectively; p > 0.05), but crude protein (CP) was greater (p = 0.0180) in pastures managed with 30 cm (24.7% DM × 22.5% DM). Thus, pre-grazing canopy heights between 20–40 cm combined with low levels of defoliation (up to 40% of the initial height) provide the same primary productivity in tangolagrass pastures. However, stolon elongation could not be reduced within such canopy height targets.

Keywords: Brachiaria; canopy height; nutritive value; productivity; tangola