Introduction of forage legumes, liming and phosphorus in degraded “Brachiaria brizantha” pastures

SUMMARY There is a need to intensify livestock productivity to feed the growing world population. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the intercropping of Brachiaria pastures with Estilosantes and Calopogonio under application of lime and phosphate. Thus, was evaluated the organic and dry matter production, tiller density, dry matter and mineral content in degraded Brachiaria brizantha pastures, applying lime and phosphate and introducing legumes. The entirely randomized experimental design was used and a split plot scheme, with two types of legumes (Estilosantes Campo Grande and Calopogonio) and three strategies of fertilization (Control, CaCO3, CaCO3 + P). The lime and phosphate were performed on the pasture surface without incorporation. The introduction of legumes was carried by no-tillage practices after overgrazing. The evaluations were performed when the dossal reached 25 cm height with the assistance of a 0.25 m2 square. Legumes did not differ for the natural and dry matters production of Brachiaria brizantha (P > 0.05), but the correction and fertilization factors (CaCO3 + P) improved significantly (P < 0.05) the pastures mass production when the Estilosantes Campo Grande were usedin intercropping. The results show that is possible to intensify livestock productivity using forage legumes, associated with CaCO3 + P fertilization, to improve and recovery productivity of cultivated pastures in tropical regions.