‘Suerte’ Paspalum atratum Swallen, a recent introduction from Brazil, is a leafy, perennial bunchgrass that may provide good cattle weight gains during the summer on wet, acid soils. Yield and nutritive value of Suerte were evaluated by clipping at 10- and 25-cm stubble heights every 20, 40, and 60 d over 240- to 248-d growing seasons for 2 yr at Ona and Immokalee, FL. Annual dry matter (DM) yield was affected by year and location, with 14.8 and 13.9 Mg ha−1 produced at Ona in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and 8.3 and 6.0 Mg ha−1 at Immokalee in 1993 and 1994. Eighty percent of DM yield was produced during the rainy June to September period, with little growth in cool or dry months. Location and clipping intervals also interacted for annual DM yield, which was 10.6, 17.2, and 15.1 Mg ha−1 at Ona and 5.6, 8.9, and 6.8 Mg ha−1 at Immokalee for the 20-, 40-, and 60-d clipping intervals, respectively. Stubble height had no effect on annual DM yield. Yield averaged 680, 2180, and 2740 kg ha−1 at each of the 12, 6, and 4 harvests for the 20-, 40-, and 60-d clipping intervals. Tiller number per plant (measured at three dates during the growing season) and plant basal area at the end of the studies increased linearly as clipping interval increased. There was no loss of plants after 2 yr of clipping at Ona, but there was a 12% loss at Immokalee. Both crude protein (CP) (97, 82, and 52 g kg−1 for 20, 40, and 60 d, respectively) and in vitro organic matter digestion (IVOMD) (578, 552, and 520 kg−1, respectively) decreased linearly over clipping intervals. These indices changed quadratically over the growing season with greatest values in April or May (91 g CP kg−1 and 600 g kg−1 IVOMD) and lowest values in August or September (72 g CP kg−1 and 510 g kg−1 IVOMD). When rotationally grazed, Suerte should have a 20- to 40-d rest period between grazings to provide high DM yield and nutritive value.
Florida Agric. Exp. Stn.. Journal Series no. R-05206.