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Yield Component Responses of the Brachiaria brizantha Forage Grass to Soil Water Availability in the Brazilian Cerrado

1
Institute of Agricultural and Technological Sciences, Federal University of Mato Grosso, 78735-901, Rondonópolis, MT, Brazil
2
Multidisciplinary Center, Federal University of Acre, 69895-000, Cruzeiro do Sul, AC, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10010013
Received: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 1 January 2020 / Published: 5 January 2020
Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers of beef cattle and dairy products, which requires high forage yield to attend grass-fed animals’ demand. Among the grass species adopted in the forage production system in Brazil, the Brachiaria genus stands out. This genus comprises nearly 85% of all planted forage area. In general, forage production systems in Brazil are essentially rainfed, and thus susceptible to seasonal soil water stresses. Selecting the suitable Brachiaria cultivar for lands susceptible to periodic waterlogging and dry spells is crucial to enhance forage yield, and consequently, to reduce the environmental footprint of the livestock sector. In this research, we investigated the performance of three recent commercial Brachiaria brizantha cultivars (Piatã, BRS Paiaguás, and MG13 Braúna) extensively adopted in Brazil’s grazing systems subjected to different ranges of soil water potential. For three cutting periods, yield related-variables (e.g., plant height, leaf area, dry biomass, and water use efficiency) were measured. Our results point to the existence of a low drought-resistant trait among cultivars, indicating the need for releasing better-adapted cultivars to cope with reduced soil water availability. All cultivars achieved higher performance at soil water pressure head between −15 kPa and −25 kPa; and in general, the cultivar. Piatã showed slightly superior results to most of the treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: beef cattle; dehydration response; tropical forages beef cattle; dehydration response; tropical forages
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Thaiana Rueda da Silva, C.; Bonfim-Silva, E.M.; de Araújo da Silva, T.J.; Alves Rodrigues Pinheiro, E.; Vieira José, J.; Pereira Freire Ferraz, A. Yield Component Responses of the Brachiaria brizantha Forage Grass to Soil Water Availability in the Brazilian Cerrado. Agriculture 2020, 10, 13.

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