Yield and nutritive value of mechanically processed corn silage from an integrated crop-livestock system

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2021-02-01

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the yield and nutritional value of silage made from corn intercropped with marandu palisadegrass (Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) in an integrated crop-livestock system. The corn was harvested at different maturity stages and cutting heights and was processed or not before ensiling. The experimental design was a randomized block with four replications in a 2x2x2+1 factorial scheme. The treatments were composed of silage corn intercropped with marandu palisadegrass harvested at two cutting heights (20 or 45 cm) and two stages of maturity (1/4 of the kernel milk line or kernel physiological maturity) and subjected to two methods of processing (crushing or not crushing). A control treatment composed of conventionally grown corn silage was also included. The total dry matter yields of both crops did not differ significantly among treatments, demonstrating the viability of the intercropping system for both forage species. Although the dry matter content of the corn plants was higher at the time of ensiling, the fermentative and nutritive quality of the silages was not affected. Increasing the cutting height increased the grain content of the forage mass and also avoided harming the development of the intercropped grass. The silages from the physiological maturity treatment and from the processed treatment had the best quality.

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Semina:Ciencias Agrarias, v. 42, n. 2, p. 845-859, 2021.

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