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Article

Grazing Intensity Impacts on Herbage Mass, Sward Structure, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Animal Performance: Analysis of Brachiaria Pastureland

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Departamento de Zootecnia, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Campus Jaboticabal, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Via de Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, Jaboticabal, São Paulo 14884-900, Brazil
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Departamento de Zootecnia, Campus Lavras, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, Minas Gerais 37200-000, Brazil
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Departamento de Produção Animal, Instituo de Zootecnia, Campos Seropédica, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rodovia BR 465, Km 07, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro 23890-000, Brazil
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Premix, Rua Milton José Robusti, n 75, 17 Andar, Jardim Botânico, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo 14021-613, Brazil
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Trouw Nutrition, Av. José Rocha Bonfim, 214, Campinas, São Paulo 13080-650, Brazil
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(11), 1750; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111750
Received: 25 September 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Grassland and Pasture Science)
A 7 year experiment (2008–2014) evaluated cattle grazing intensity (sward height) effects on herbage mass, forage quality, and greenhouse gas emissions in continuously stocked pastures containing the tropical ‘Marandu’ palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich) Stapf cv. Marandu). The experiment consisted of three sward height treatments (15, 25, and 35 cm) and six replicates. There were four periods each year during the rearing phase. Significant effects were found for herbage mass, proportions of leaf and stem, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, animal performance, enteric methane (CH4), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils. When the canopy height increased from 15 to 35 cm, the herbage mass rose from 5.23 to 9.86 kg t ha−1, leaf percentage decreased, and stem percentage increased. Crude protein content averaged 14.2%, and neutral detergent fiber averaged 58%. Average daily gain averaged 0.67, 0.81, and 0.90 kg −1 head−1, while live weight gain ha–1 was 649, 530, and 439 kg for the 15, 25, and 35 cm treatments, respectively. The weather variables explained the GHG emissions, interannual herbage mass, and structure variations. View Full-Text
Keywords: beef cattle; tropical pasture; Marandu grass; continuous stocking beef cattle; tropical pasture; Marandu grass; continuous stocking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruggieri, A.C.; Cardoso, A.d.S.; Ongaratto, F.; Casagrande, D.R.; Barbero, R.P.; Brito, L.d.F.; Azenha, M.V.; Oliveira, A.A.; Koscheck, J.F.W.; Reis, R.A. Grazing Intensity Impacts on Herbage Mass, Sward Structure, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Animal Performance: Analysis of Brachiaria Pastureland. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1750. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111750

AMA Style

Ruggieri AC, Cardoso AdS, Ongaratto F, Casagrande DR, Barbero RP, Brito LdF, Azenha MV, Oliveira AA, Koscheck JFW, Reis RA. Grazing Intensity Impacts on Herbage Mass, Sward Structure, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Animal Performance: Analysis of Brachiaria Pastureland. Agronomy. 2020; 10(11):1750. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111750

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruggieri, Ana C., Abmael d.S. Cardoso, Fernando Ongaratto, Daniel R. Casagrande, Rondineli P. Barbero, Liziane d.F. Brito, Mariane V. Azenha, André A. Oliveira, Jefferson F.W. Koscheck, and Ricardo A. Reis. 2020. "Grazing Intensity Impacts on Herbage Mass, Sward Structure, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Animal Performance: Analysis of Brachiaria Pastureland" Agronomy 10, no. 11: 1750. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111750

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