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How the Intercropping between Corn and Palisade Grass Cultivars Affects Forage Production and Pastures Characteristics under Grazing

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2015.69146    2,913 Downloads   3,244 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Crop-livestock integrated systems have been identified as an excellent option to use land efficiently. This study investigates how the intercropping between corn and three palisade grass cultivars affects the species productivity and the physiological and structural characteristics of swards grazed under 95% light interception under mob stocking. Evaluations were performed before corn harvest and during three grazing cycles. Similarity between the cultivars on the proportion of corn morphological components has shown that none of the studied forage plants had influence on the growth of corn. The crop-livestock integrated system with corn modified the proportion of palisade grass cultivars’ morphological components, promoting the development of Xaraes cultivar. In the pre-grazing in the grazing cycles, considering 95% of light interception the Xaraes cultivar showed higher height (0.47 m) compared with Marandu (0.37 m) and similar to Piata (0.42 m). Forage density was higher in the second grazing cycle only when the forage mass was also greater with greater contribution of both leaves and stems compared to the other cycles. Mass of leaves, stems and dead material was similar between the cultivars both pre- and post-grazing. The corn and forage intercropping did not affect the growth and development of palisade grass pastures and it is a viable alternative for the crop-livestock integrated system. Corn production is not affected by the palisade grass cultivars but production can be affected by environmental conditions mainly rainfall. The Marandu, Xaraes and Piata cultivars can be recommended for integration farming system in crop-livestock integrated system and are recommended for sward managed under 95% light interception and 15 cm high residue.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Janusckiewicz, E. , Chiarelli, C. , Cunha Neto, D. , Raposo, E. and Ruggieri, A. (2015) How the Intercropping between Corn and Palisade Grass Cultivars Affects Forage Production and Pastures Characteristics under Grazing. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 1475-1482. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.69146.

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