Pastures occupy a large territory in Brazil and are key to the country's livestock industry, almost exclusively forage-based. Grazing management, however os empirical and technical guidelines for managing specific grasses are either scarce or poorly adopted, which hinders the competitiveness of the activity. Establishing sound management guidelines for key grasses can improve animal output and profitability of the livestock enterprise. The objective of this research is to study forage productivity and nutritive value characteristics of Mulato II brachiariagrass in response to three grazing intensities and under to rates of growth generated by nitrogen input, under continuous stocking and variable stocking rate mimicked by a mob-grazing experimental protocol. The study will be conducted in Piracicaba, SP, from Sept. 2012 to April 2013. Experimental paddocks will receive treatments corresponding to all possible combinations between three sward heights (10, 25, and 45 cm) and two growth rates generated by two N rates (50 and 250 kg N ha-1) split applied monthly during the experimental period. The experimental design will be a randomized complete block with a factorial arrangement. The following response variables will be studied: forga mass, forage accumulation, plant-part composition of forage on offer, as well as plant-part composition and nutritive value (crude protein, in-vitro digestibility, and NDF) of forage consumed, both inferred from hand-plucked samples. It is expected that this information will contribute to establishing optimal management option for the newly-released Mulato II brachiariagrass, a promising genotype for the Brazilian livestock industry.
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