Agronomic and nutritional characteristics of Massai grass subjected to deferred grazing and nitrogen fertilization

Clésio dos Santos Costa, Rosane Cláudia Rodrigues, Ricardo Alves de Araújo, Magno José Duarte Cândido, Francisco Naysson de Sousa Santos, Marcônio Martins Rodrigues, Francivaldo Oliveira Costa, Ivone Rodrigues da Silva, Arnaud Azevêdo Alves, Noilson Monteles de Lima

Abstract


This study aimed to evaluate the agronomic characteristics and nutritional value of Massai grass (Megathyrsus maximus ‘Massai’) pastures fertilized with different nitrogen levels and subjected to deferred grazing. A completely randomized experimental design (CRD) was adopted, with including five nitrogen levels (zero, 100, 200, 300, and 400 kg ha?1), and five replications (plots). The degradability trial used a CRD including a 6 × 5 factorial arrangement, consisting of six rumen-incubation times (6, 24, 48, 60, 84, and 96 h) and five levels of nitrogen in different plots. One fistulated sheep, with a live weight of 60 kg, was used in the experiment. Total herbage biomass, dead herbage biomass, and height showed a quadratic response to nitrogen fertilization levels of 100 to 200 kg ha-1 resulted in greater tillering. Protein and dry matter content increased linearly with nitrogen fertilization level, leading to increase in fibrous components. The increase in NDF and ADF contents might be a consequence of the reduction in NCE, and the high flowering rate of the grass, owing likely to the reduction in metabolism of the grass in an attempt to extend its lifetime. Nitrogen levels of 300 kg ha?1 or higher affected the productive characteristics positively, whereas the chemical characteristics were negatively affected.

Keywords


Deferred period; Degradability of dry matter; Megathyrsus; Nitrogen fertilization.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2017v38n3p1617

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional