Mass and nutritional quality of upper and lower strata of tropical forages
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The goal of this work was to evaluate the growth dynamics and chemical characteristics of the upper and lower strata of summer perennial grasses under a four cuts system. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design, composed of 28 treatments in a factorial arrangement of 7×4, with four repetitions. The cultivars evaluated were Star Grass, Coast-cross, Tifton 68, Tifton 85, Jiggs, Roxinha and Quicuio. Each cultivar was cut when it reached 95% light interception. The cultivars Jiggs and Tifton 68 had the highest (P<0.05) accumulation of dry biomass ha-1 during the four cuts, with productions of 21,348 and 21,016 kg ha-1, respectively. The ash content varied (P<0.05) among species and times of cutting for both strata. Cellulose contents were significantly different in the upper stratum, with the highest concentrations found in cvs. Quicuio and Tifton 68 (39.12% and 38.07%, respectively). We found the highest levels of lignin (P<0.05), for both strata, in cv. Quicuio. Cultivars Jiggs and Tifton 68 were the most appropriate for a management system of four cuts, displaying good chemical composition and high productivity.