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Agrociencia (Uruguay)

Print version ISSN 1510-0839On-line version ISSN 2301-1548


SALDANHA, Sylvia; BOGGIANO, Pablo  and  CADENAZZI, Mónica. Effect of the intensity of defoliation in the structure of pasture of Lolium perenne cv Horizon. Agrociencia Uruguay [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.1, pp.44-54. ISSN 1510-0839.

The effect of intensities of grazing applied as forage offers (OF) - 2,0 - 4,5 - 7,0 and 9,5 kg DM/100 kg of animal liveweight on tillers density and dry weight was evaluated from August to November in a Lolium perenne sward. The design was totally at random with two replicates. The relationships between both variables and the OF were lineal in October and November: Tillers density (tillers/m2)=1821+209 OF (P<0,001; r2=0,76), Tillers dry weight (mg)=19,3+8,1 OF (P<0,0001; r2=0,70). No compensatory mechanisms occurred. Grazing intensity affected the persistence of the pasture. In November, 58 plants/m2 got lost for every 1 % decrease in the OF (P<0,0001; r2=0,84). The OF also affected pasture regrowth. The relationship between tiller weight of the remainder pos-graze and tiller weight of the regrowth for the whole period was significant (P<0,0004; r2=0,66): Tillers dry weight (mg) pre-graze=34,61+0,99 x, for x=weight of tiller of the forage remainder of the previous defoliation. The obtained results reflect the complexity of the processes. Under Uruguay´s conditions the light is not the main factor limiting pasture productivity, while defoliation intensity is an important variable.

Keywords : Lolium perenne; forage offer; tiller weight; tiller density.

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