Support Feedipedia

Automatic translation

Who is visiting Feedipedia?

 

Editor area

Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens)

Description and recommendations

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Common names

Signal grass, signalgrass, sheep grass, Kenya sheep grass, Suriname grass; Spanish: braquiaria, decumbens, pasto alambre, pasto braquiaria, pasto chontalpo, pasto de la palizada, pasto de las orillas, pasto peludo, pasto prodigio, zacate prodigio; Portuguese: Australiano, braquiária, braquiária comum, braquiária de alho, capim braquiária, decumbens; Thai: Ya siknaentonnon, ya surinam (Miles et al., 1996)

Synonyms

Brachiaria bequaertii Robyns, Brachiaria brizantha sensu Senaratna, Brachiaria eminii (Mez) Robyns, Panicum eminii Mez, Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D. Webster, Urochloa eminii (Mez) Davidse (Quattrocchi, 2006).

Brachiaria brizantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Stapf and Brachiaria decumbens (Stapf) are very similar morphologically, which has led to incorrect identifications (Miles et al., 1996).

Description

Trailing perennial with up to 60 cm stems. Suitable for humid areas with well-drained sandy soils. Withstands drought but not waterlogging. Valuable constituent of East African savannahs. Fairly high-yielding. Usually propagated by cuttings or tuft splits.

Potential constraints

A widespread sporadic toxicity syndrome associated with Brachiaria species is hepatogenous photosensitization. Sheep, goats and cattle develop skin lesions, facial edema, liver damage and ruminal stasis that result in severe drops in weight gain (down to 40%) and even in death if the animals are not removed from the pasture. This syndrome has been reported with ruminants grazing Brachiaria decumbens in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America (FAO, 2010; Lascano et al., 1996). The cause of toxicity appears to be the presence in bile ducts and hepatocytes of crystals of insoluble salts of sapogenin glucuronides originating from steroidal saponins present in the plant. Sapogenins content can vary in the same Brachiaria species due to environmental stress, plant age and developmental stage. Outbreaks of Brachiaria spp. poisoning in central western Brazil are frequently observed in pastures that had been more than 30 days without animals grazing. They also occur during the growing stage of the pastures at the start of the rainy season (Brum, 2009).

Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value

Ruminants

Readily grazed.

Citation

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/489 Last updated on July 30, 2010, 16:48

Tables

Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 25.7 5.3 19.5 39.6 29
Crude protein % DM 8.2 3.5 1.9 14.1 53
Crude fibre % DM 31.2 5.4 22.6 39.7 40
NDF % DM 68.3 5.9 57.8 75.8 11 *
ADF % DM 36.9 4.6 30.1 45.7 22 *
Lignin % DM 5.0 1.2 3.6 7.8 13 *
Ether extract % DM 2.3 0.6 1.4 2.9 8
Ash % DM 8.7 1.8 5.4 12.2 52
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.1 2.8 15.4 20.5 3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 3.9 1.1 1.9 6.1 36
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.3 1.2 0.6 4.4 36
Potassium g/kg DM 17.8 8.5 2.4 29.8 32
Sodium g/kg DM 0.5 0.4 0.6 2
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.1 0.6 1.4 3.8 36
Manganese mg/kg DM 148 65 83 281 9
Zinc mg/kg DM 30 17 10 76 11
Copper mg/kg DM 4 3 2 11 11
Iron mg/kg DM 707 140 1273 2
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 54.0 3.8 54.0 68.0 8 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 51.6 51.6 62.9 2 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.3 9.3 12.9 2 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 7.6 *
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 6.6 0.2 6.3 6.8 4
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 58.9 13.2 33.5 71.0 8

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Abaunza et al., 1991; Aregheore et al., 2006; Aumont et al., 1991; Butterworth, 1963; CGIAR, 2009; CIRAD, 1991; Dougall et al., 1958; Evitayani et al., 2004; Evitayani et al., 2004; Gowda et al., 2004; Nasrullah et al., 2003; Xandé et al., 1989

Last updated on 27/11/2012 14:27:53

TABLE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE.

References

References

Almeida, S. A. ; Aragao, W. M. ; Pedreira, P. A. S., 1982. Effect of stocking rate on the production of beef cattle on Brachiaria decumbens pastures, with or without phosphate fertilizer. Pesquisa em Andamento, UEPAE de Aracaju. 1982, No.10, 5pp
Anzola, H. J. ; Martinez, G. ; Gomez, F. ; Hernandez, Y. ; Huertas, H., 1990. Strategic supplementation of bypass protein and fat to dual purpose cattle in the Colombian tropics during the dry season. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 2 (3): 1-9 web icon
Aregheore, E. M. ; Steglar, T. A. ; Ng'ambi, J. W., 2006. Nutrient characterisation and in vitro digestibility of grass and legume/browse species - based diets for beef cattle in Vanuatu. South Pacific J. Nat. Appl. Sci., 24 (1): 20-27 web icon
Artus, F. ; Champannet, F., 1989. Contribution to the study of hay production in a humid tropical environment: drying and conservation factors in Martinique. In: Pâturages et alimentation des ruminants en zone tropicale humide, 65-76. Symposium sur l'alimentation des ruminants en milieu tropical (du 02/06/1987 au 06/06/1987; Pointe-a-Pitre (FRA)) INRA
Artus-Poliakoff, F. ; Champannet, F. ; Gayalin, M., 1991. Production fourragère et élevage ovin à la Martinique. Rev. Elev. Méd. Vét. Pays Trop., 44 (N° spécial): 91-98 web icon
Béreau, M. ; Xandé, A. ; Gaucher, B. ; Patient, A, 1989. Hay in a humid tropical environment. A view from French Guiana. Paturages et alimentation des ruminants en zone tropicale humide, 1989, 55-64
Brum, K. B. ; Haraguchi, M. ; Garutti, M. B. ; Nóbrega, F. N. ; Rosa, B. ; Fioravanti, M. C. S., 2009. Steroidal saponin concentrations in Brachiaria decumbens and B. brizantha at different developmental stages. Cienc. Rural 39 (1): 279-281 web icon
Bryan, W. W., 1968. Grazing trials on the Wallum of south-eastern Queensland. 1. A comparison of four pastures. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb., 8 (34): 512-520 web icon
Butterworth, M. H., 1963. Digestibility trials on forages in Trinidad and their use in the prediction of nutritive value. J. Agric. Sci., 60 (3): 341-346 web icon
Butterworth, M. H., 1964. The digestible energy content of some tropical forages. J. Agric. Sci., 63 (3): 319-321 web icon
Champannet, F., 1989. Seasonal productivity and nutritive value of 5 tropical grasses in Martinique. In: Xandé A.; Alexandre G. (Eds.). Pâturages et alimentation des ruminants en zone tropicale humide. Symposium sur l'alimentation des ruminants en milieu tropical. 1, 1987-06-02/1987-06-06. Pointe-à-Pitre, INRA, 1989: 3-10
Champannet, F., 1989. Growth of steers grazed solely on tropical grasses. In: Xandé, A.; Alexandre, G. (Eds.). Pâturages et alimentation des ruminants en zone tropicale humide. Symposium sur l'alimentation des ruminants en milieu tropical. 1, 1987-06-02/1987-06-06. Pointe-à-Pitre, INRA, 1989: 221-231
CIAT, Cali, Colombia., 1984. Pasture productivity and management. CIAT Annual Report, Tropical Pastures Program. unda, 269-284. Cali, Colombia
Costa, J. L. ; Gomide, J. A., 1989. Haymaking from tropical grasses. Proceedings of the XVI International Grassland Congress, 4 11 October 1989, Nice, France. 1989, 997 998
Dougall, H. W. ; Bogdan, A. V., 1958. The chemical composition of grasses of Kenya. Part I. E. Afr. Agric. For. J., 24 (1): 17-23
Euclides, V. P. B. ; Macedo, M. C. M. ; Oliveira, M. P., 1998. Cattle production on Brachiaria spp. pastures associated with Calopogonium mucunoides in the savannas of Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zootec., 27 (2): 238-245 web icon
Guenni, O. ; Marin, D. ; Baruch, Z., 2002. Responses to drought of five Brachiaria species. I. Biomass production, leaf growth, root distribution, water use and forage quality. Plant and Soil, 243: 229–241 web icon
Gutteridge, R. C. ; Shelton, H. M. ; Wilaipon, B. ; Humphreys, L. R., 1983. Productivity of pastures and responses to salt supplements by beef cattle on native pasture in north east Thailand. Trop. Grassl., 17 (3): 105-114
Herrero, M. ; do Valle, C. B. ; Hughes, N. R. G. ; V de O. Sabatel, Jessop, N. S., 2001. Measurements of physical strength and their relationship to the chemical composition of four species of Brachiaria. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 92 (3-4): 149-158 web icon
Husson, O. ; Charpentier, H. ; Razanamparany, C. ; Moussa, N. ; Michellon, R. ; Naudin, K. ; Razafintsalama, H. ; Rakotoarinivo, C. ; Rakotondramanana; Séguy, L., 2008. Brachiaria sp., B. ruziziensis, B. brizantha, B. decumbens, B. humidicola. CIRAD, Manuel pratique du semis direct à Madagascar, Vol. III, Chap. 3, par. 4.1 web icon
Iyeghe-Erakpotobor, G. T. ; Muhammad, I. R., 2008. Intake of tropical grass, legume and legume-grass mixtures by rabbits. Trop. Grassl., 42: 112-119 web icon
Izham, A. ; Eng, P. K. ; Ajit, S. S., 1982. Grazing assessment of Leucaena grown with Brachiaria decumbens and native pasture. MARDI Research Bulletin, 10 (3): 409-417
Laredo, C. M. A. ; Gomez, J., 1980. Mineral variation in tropical grasses. 1. Brachiaria sp. in the Llanos Orientales. Revista del Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario, 15 (2): 71-78
Laredo, C. M. A., 1981. Nutritive value of tropical grasses. I. Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. Annual and seasonal. Revista del Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario, 16 (3): 123-131
Lopes, F. C. F. ; Paciullo, D. S. C. ; Mota, E. F. ; Pereira, J. C. ; Azambuja, A. A. ; Motta, A. C. S. ; Rodrigues, G. S. ; Duque, A. C. A., 2010. Chemical composition and in situ ruminal degradability of four Brachiaria species. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec., 62 (4): 883-888 web icon
Lowry, J. B. ; Petheram, R. J. ; Tangendjaja, B., 1992. Plants fed to village ruminants in Indonesia. Notes on 136 species. their composition, and significance invillage farming systems. ACIAR Technical Reports No. 22 web icon
Lucci, C. S. ; Zanetti, M. A. ; Nogueira Filho, J. C. M. ; Borelli, V, 1982. Milk production on continuously grazed grasslands with or without nitrogen. Revista da Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 19 (2): 173-176
Maeno, N., 1985. Productivity of grass legume pasture and its contribution to animal production in the tropics. Tropical Agriculture Research Series, 18:159-172
McCosker, T. H. ; Teitzel, J. K., 1975. A review of guinea grass (Panicum maximum) for wet tropics of Australia. Trop. Grassl., 9 (3): 177-190 web icon
Michalet-Doreau, B. ; Xandé, A., 1979. Influence de la saison sur le comportement alimentaire des moutons recevant des fourrages verts en zone tropicale humide. Ann. Zootech., 28 (4): 381-392 web icon
Miles, J. W. ; Maas, B. L. ; do Valle, C. B. ; Kumble, V., 1996. Brachiaria: biology, agronomy and improvement. CIAT, EMBRAPA web icon
Moog, F. A. ; Deocareza, A. G. ; Diesta, H. E., 1995. Improved pastures under coconuts in Bicol. Proc. of 4th meeting of regional working group on grazing and feed resources of Southeast Asia, Theme: Enhancing Sustainable Livestock Crop Production in Smallholder Farming Systems. March 20 – 24, 1995, Nha Trang, Vietnam. Wong, C. C.; Ly, L. V. (Eds): 37–41 web icon
Mullen, B. F., 2009. Vanuatu. Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile, Grassland and Pasture Crops Group of the FAO, Rome web icon
Opasina, B. A., 1985. Photosensitization jaundice syndrome in West African dwarf sheep and goats grazed on Brachiaria decumbens. Trop. Grassl., 19 (3): 120-123
Paterson, R. T. ; Quiroga, L. ; Sauma, G. ; Samur, C, 1983. Dry season growth of zebu criollo steers with limited access to leucaena. Trop. Anim. Prod., 8 (2): 138-142
Raharjo, Y. C. ; Cheeke, P. R. ; Patton, N. M., 1988. Evaluation of tropical forages and rice by products as rabbit feeds. J. Appl. Rabbit Res., 11 (3): 201-211
Reis, R. A. ; Garcia, R, 1989. Effect of ammonia level, time of exposure to ammonia and period of storage on chemical composition and digestibility of two tropical grasses hay. Proceedings of the XVI International Grassland Congress, 4 11 October 1989, Nice, France. 1989, 1001 1002
Tergas, L. E. ; Paladines, O. ; Kleinheisterkamp, I. ; Velasquez, J., 1984. Animal productivity from Brachiaria decumbens alone and with complementary grazing of Pueraria phaseoloides in the eastern plains of Colombia. Trop. Anim. Prod., 9 (1): 1-11
Trujillo, G. M. ; Posada, J. G. ; Sierra, O, 1986. The effect of age of regrowth on nutritive quality of Brachiaria decumbens. Pasturas Tropicales, 8 (2): 7-9
Vallejos, A. ; Pizarro, E. A. ; Chaves, C. ; Pezo, D. ; Ferreira, P., 1989. Agronomic evaluation of grasses at Guapiles, Costa Rica. I. Brachiaria ecotypes.. Pasturas Tropicales 11 (2): 13-28 web icon
Velasquez, J. E. ; Cuesta, P. A., 1990. Animal productivity of Brachiaria decumbens under continuous grazing for 3 years in the Amazonian Piedmont. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 2 (3): 78 web icon
Wanapat, M. ; Topark Ngarm, A., 1985. Voluntary intake and digestibility of two selected tropical grasses by swamp buffaloes. Proceedings of the XV International Grassland Congress, August 24 31, 1985, Kyoto, Japan. 1985, 959 960
Whiteman, P. C. ; Halim, N. R. ; Norton, B. W. ; Hales, J. W., 1985. Beef production from three tropical grasses in south eastern Queensland. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb., 25 (3): 481-488 web icon

Image credits

Image credits