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Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in southwestern islands of japan 8. the comparative digestible dry matter production of 3 cultivars of tropical pasture legume stylosanthes spp mixed with 3 tropical pasture grasses



Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in southwestern islands of japan 8. the comparative digestible dry matter production of 3 cultivars of tropical pasture legume stylosanthes spp mixed with 3 tropical pasture grasses



Grassland Science 30(3): 235-242



In vitro dry matter digestibility were measured for 2nd yr plant materials in order to evaluate digestible dry matter (DDM) yields of the tropical legume-grass mixtures grown in southwestern Islands of Japan. Endeavour stylo or shofield stylo mixed with the grasses outyielded Townsville stylo mixed with the grasses in annual DDM. The levels of annual total DDM obtained from these mixtures were equivalent to the mono-cultured Rhodes grass applicated with 250-350 kg N/ha per yr. DDM yields increased in the legumes growing in association with Guinea grass reaching to 40-50 cm of plant height at clipping time (40 CL), and Rhodes grass or Setaria, reaching to 60-70 cm of plant height at clipping time (60 CL). Production rates of DDM in the mixtures showed greater seasonal fluctuation in 40 CL and more stressed in 60 CL. IVDMD% [in vitro dry matter digestibility] of the legumes were higher than the grasses by 4-15% showing higher values in cooler seasons and lower values in warmer seasons. The former were correlated with mean daily temperature and the latter with heat summation above 15.degree. C during the regrowth periods. The potential of the tropical legume-grass mixtures were better recognized by evaluating DDM yields as compared to dry matter yields. Shorter clipping intervals and the management for maintaining relatively higher legume ratio were suggested for further increase of DDM yields of the mixtures.

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