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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 2, p. 914-922
     
    Received: June 27, 2011
    Published: Mar, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): jv@ufl.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2011.06.0338

Forage Accumulation, Nutritive Value, and Persistence of ‘Mulato II’ Brachiariagrass in Northern Florida

  1. J. M. B. Vendramini *a,
  2. L. E. Sollenbergerb,
  3. G. C. Lambc,
  4. J. L. Fosterd,
  5. K. Liue and
  6. M. K. Maddoxc
  1. a Range Cattle Research and Education Center, Univ. of Florida, Ona, FL 33865
    b Agronomy Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0500
    c North Florida Research and Education Center, Univ. of Florida, Marianna, FL 32446-8091
    d Texas Agrilife Research Station, Beeville, TX 78102
    e Dep. of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Science, Clemson Univ., Blackville, SC 29817

Abstract

‘Mulato II’ [Brachiaria spp.] is a warm-season grass with excellent nutritive value adapted to tropical regions; however, its herbage production and persistence in subtropical locations is unknown. Grazing and clipping studies were conducted in 2008 and 2009 in Marianna and Gainesville, FL, respectively. The treatments for the grazing study were beef heifers (Bos spp.) grazing Mulato II, ‘Tifleaf 3’ pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.], or ‘Hayday’ sorghum-sudangrassgrass [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] pastures on a continuous stocking rate. In 2008, there were no differences in herbage allowance (HA) (0.9 kg dry matter [DM] kg−1 live weight [LW]), average daily gain (ADG) (0.5 kg d−1), and gain per hectare (168 kg) among treatments. However, Mulato II had greater HA (2.0 vs. 0.7 kg DM kg−1 LW) and ADG (0.78 vs. 0.41 kg d−1) than Tifleaf 3 and Hayday and similar gain per hectare (302 kg) in 2009. The treatments for the clipping study were Mulato II, evaluated as an annual and perennial, ‘Tifton 85’ bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.), Tifleaf 3 pearl millet, and Hayday sorghum-sudangrass. In 2008, Hayday and Tifleaf 3 established more rapidly than Mulato II; however, Mulato II grew later in the fall. In 2009, the perennial treatments (Mulato II and Tifton 85) had overall greater herbage accumulation than the annual treatments. In the clipping study, Tifton 85 had greater ground cover than Mulato II perennial in 2009 (73 vs. 36%) and 2010 (73 vs. 12%). Mulato II may be used as a high quality, short-lived perennial warm-season grass in subtropical areas.

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