Nutritional quality of massai grass fertilized with phosphorus and nitrogen and its influence on intake and weight gain of sheep under rotational grazing on quartzipsamment soil

Thais Valéria Souza Silva, Luciano Fernandes Sousa, Antônio Clementino dos Santos, Ana Cristina Holanda Ferreira, Rebeca Rocha Cardoso, Jhone Tallison Lira de Sousa, Wanderson Campos Jardim, Anderson da Silva Ricardo, Josimar Santos de Almeida, Junior Bezerra de Carvalho


The effects of phosphate and nitrogen fertilization on aspects of forage composition and ruminal fermentation were separately evaluated pre- and post-grazing, in addition to the dry matter intake and weight gain of sheep grazing Panicum maximum cv. Massai under a rotational system on Quartzipsamment soil. The aim was to evaluate the effect of fertilization with different levels of phosphorous (50 and 200 kg P2O5/ha) and nitrogen (100 and 400 kg N/ha) compared to unfertilized control soil. The experiment was conducted at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science at Universidade Federal do Tocantins – UFT, in a randomized complete block design with four replicates in a factorial 2 × 2 design. The study area consisted of 32 paddocks (301 m²), each of which had previously been sown with Panicum maximum cv. Massai. The experimental area was managed under intermittent stocking with a variable stocking rate. Twenty-eight crossbreed sheep were used for grazing management. Evaluations were made before and after grazing, including forage evaluation and measurement of ruminal degradability and intake (using titanium dioxide as the external marker). Regarding the forage composition, a significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed between the control and fertilizer treatments for neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber, crude protein, lignin and phosphorous content. Fertilization was found to alter the nutritional quality of Panicum maximum cv. Massai grass. Among the nutritional aspects evaluated, fertilization influenced NDF, grass digestibility and dry matter intake. The forage composition of Massai grass is improved by fertilization with nitrogen at 100 kg N/ha and phosphate up to 50 kg P2O5/ha, which represents a relevant management practice for increasing quantity and quality.


Nutrients; Pasture; Ruminal degradability; Titanium dioxide.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
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