DRY MATTER PRODUCTION AND STRUCTURAL AND BROMATOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF Brachiaria AND Panicum CULTIVARS

Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the dry matter production and the structural and bromatological characteristics of Brachiaria and Panicum cultivars. The study was conducted in a greenhouse in a randomized complete block design with five treatments, three cultivars of Brachiaria (B. decumbens cv. Basilisk, B. brizantha cv. Marandu and cv. Xaraes) and two cultivars of Panicum (P. maximum cv. Mombaça and cv. Tanzania), with four replications. Higher number of leaves, greater laminar length and tillers were observed in Mombaça, Tanzania, and Basilisk cultivars. Tanzania and Mombaça cultivars showed higher production of dry mass in relation to Marandu, and Xaraes cultivar showed higher leaf/stem ratio. There was no difference in crude protein content among cultivars, while neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber content was lower for Marandu and Xaraes. We recommend all the cultivars considering their different nutritional requirements.