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Plant Biomass and Bovine Live Weight Changes in Mono-Specific and Mixed Pastures during the Rainy Season in Dry Tropical Mexico

By Régulo Jiménez-Guillén, Adrián R. Quero-Carrillo, Pedro A. Martínez-Hernández and Alfonso Hernández-Garay

Abstract

Dry tropics suffer long drought periods each year, negatively affecting the amount and digestibility of forage for cattle production. The aim of this study was evaluate different pasture types, grazed by cattle during the rainy season. Three hectares were prepared to compare: grass monoculture, Andropogon gayanus (G); a grass-legume mixture of A. gayanus and Clitoria ternatea (GL), and a grass-legume-tree mixture of A. gayanus, C. ternatea and Morus alba (GLT). Two grazing cycles (4 d grazing followed by 32 d resting; 72 d total) were completed. Three heifers (average initial weight 192 kg) grazed each experimental unit. The amounts of forage offered, remaining after grazing, and removed by animals differed significantly among the pasture treatments. Total forage offered by period was 2007, 4089, and 4192 DM kg/ha for G, GL, and GLT, respectively. Total residual forage was 1074, 1878 and 2613 DM kg/ha respectively, while total forage removed was 934, 2209, and 1579 DM kg/ha, respectively. Differences for offered forage were detected only for residual and consumed forage for GL prairies. Differences in available forage were mainly due to differences in the amount of stem and live material. Daily weight gain was 0.138, 0.504 and 0.501 kg per animal for G, GL, and GLT, respectively. Mixed pasture treatments yielded better live weight gain due to the better quality of available forage

Topics: Mixed pasture, morphological components, grazing cattle, rainy season, Plant Sciences, Soil Science
Publisher: UKnowledge
Year: 2020
OAI identifier: oai:uknowledge.uky.edu:igc-1390

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