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Sobczak et al., 2005. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 17 (6) article # 71

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Sobczak, M. F.; Olivo, C. J.; Gabbi, A. M.; Charao, P. S.; Heimerdinger, A.; Silva, J. H. S. da; Pereira, L. E. T.; Ziech, M. F.; Rossarolla, G., 2005. Evaluation of an elephant grass pasture mixed with black oats managed under agro ecological principles in the winter period. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 17 (6) article # 71

The research was conducted in Santa Maria, RS, Brazil, during June to October 2002, with the objective to evaluate an elephant grass pasture (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) var. Merckeron Pinda, mixed with black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.), managed under agro-ecological principles. The experimental design was incomplete randomized blocks with two repetitions (paddocks) and seven treatments (grazing cycles). The experimental area was fertilized during Summer 2002 with 100 kg N/ha, in form of organic manure. For evaluation of the pasture Holstein lactating cows were used. The time of occupation in each paddock was one day and the period of rest varied from 29 to 51 days, in a system of  rotational grazing. Elephant grass pasture was established in rows with 3m  distance and black oat was seeded between lines, each representing 17% and 83% of total area, respectively. There were differences in the relative availability of elephant grass and black oat, but not in total dry matter, from the start to the finish of the 7 grazing cycles.  Crude protein level and in vitro dry matter digestibility showed a decreasing linear effect, and increasing linear effect for neutral detergent fiber. In the evaluation of botanical components of elephant grass, dead material increased during successive grazing cycles. With relation to black oat, there was a linear decrease of leaf lamina and an increase in tillers and dead material. There was no difference in stocking rate over the grazing period. The mixture of species demonstrated that the presence of elephant grass contributed to an increase in forage biomass at the start and finish of the winter period while black oat contributed to maintain the quality of pasture during the first half of the experimental period

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Sobczak et al., 2005