INITIAL HEIGHT AND DEFERMENT PERIOD ON SIGNALGRASS PASTURES

<p></p><p>Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the initial heights (10, 20, and 30 cm) and deferment periods (171, 141, and 109 days in 2010; and 131, 100, and 71 days in 2011) of Urochloa decumbens cv. Basilisk (signal grass). The factors were arranged in split plot, in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Pastures deferred for a short period had lower masses of forage (5,977 and 6,904 kg/ha of DM in 2010 and 2011, respectively). In 2010, pastures deferred for a short period had lower mass of live stem (942 kg/ha of DM), dead leaf blade (785 kg/ha of DM), and dead stem (1282 kg/ha of DM), higher number of vegetative tillers (797 tillers/m²), fewer reproductive tillers (2 tillers/m²), less falling index (1.4), higher mass of live leaf blade (655 kg/ha of DM). The higher pastures had fewer vegetative tillers (495 and 431 tillers/m² in 2010 and 2011, respectively), larger masses of forage (5,285 and 5,942 kg/ha of DM in 2010 and 2011, respectively), dead leaf blade (968 kg kg/ha of DM in 2010) and dead stem (1,902 kg/ha of DM in 2010). Based on the results obtained in the two years, for use in July, the signal grass can be deferred for 71-109 days with an initial height of 20 to 30 cm. The initial height of 10 cm is recommended when a deferral period above 130 days is adopted.</p><p></p>