QUALITY OF CORN SILAGE INTERCROPPED WITH TROPICAL GRASSES AT DIFFERENT ROW SPACING
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The search for pasture alternatives in livestock farming has focused on options that maximize soil use without exhausting its chemical and physical qualities. Integrated crop-livestock systems (SIPA in the Portuguese acronym) have called the attention of producers since they are economically and ecologically viable. The objective of this study was to measure the influence of corn plant spacing (0.45 and 0.90 m) in forage intercrops (Xaraes or Tanzania grass) on the quality of wet grain silage. A random block design in a 2 x 2 factorial scheme was used, with eight repetitions consisting of the following treatments: corn planted at a row spacing of 0.45 m and intercropped with Xaraes grass; corn planted at 0.90 m and intercropped with Xaraes grass; corn planted at 0.45 m and intercropped with Tanzania grass, and corn planted at 0.90 m and intercropped with Tanzania grass. The contents of dry matter percentage, crude protein, neutral and acid detergent fiber, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and soluble carbohydrate and buffering capacity were determined before ensiling and in silage. Ether extract, neutral/acid detergent insoluble nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, pH and in vitro dry matter digestibility were only evaluated in silage. All intercropping modalities studied (forages and spacing) were viable, providing wet grain silage of good quality. However, intercropping of corn with Tanzania grass at a spacing of 0.90 m resulted in higher ether extract content, lower lignin content, and greater digestibility.
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