Yield and nutritive value of the silage of corn intercropped with tropical perennial grasses

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2017-01-01

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The objective of this work was to compare the yield and nutritive value of the silage of corn intercropped with palisade grass (Urochloa brizantha 'Marandu') or guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus 'Tanzânia') with those of the silage of monocropped corn, as well as to evaluate the pasture established in the intercropping systems during two growing seasons (2010-2011 and 2011-2012), in low-altitude Brazilian Cerrado. The treatments consisted of three cropping systems: monocropped corn, corn intercropped with palisade grass, and corn intercropped with guinea grass, with four replicates. Intercropping decreased corn forage dry matter yield for silage; however, due to the addition of grass, total dry matter yield (corn + grass) was similar between treatments. Intercropping also did not negatively affect corn production components and morphological characteristics. The cropping systems provided silages with good nutritive values, and the inclusion of tropical forages increased the silage fiber contents. Intercropping corn with tropical perennial grasses is a viable option for producing large quantities of silage with good nutritive value. The forage yield (silage + pasture) of these intercropping systems is similar to that of monocropped corn in tropical regions and has the advantage of providing a pasture in the off-season.

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Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira, v. 52, n. 1, p. 63-73, 2017.

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