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Research Project: Strategies to Predict and Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Variability on Soil, Plant, Animal, and Environmental Interactions

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Lamb production responses to grazing on grass in a companion crop system with corn silage and yellow oat oversowing in a tropical region

Author
item Pariz, C - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Meirelles, A - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Yasuoka, J - Universidad De Sao Paulo
item Martello, J - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Sarto, J - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Cavasano, F - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Castilhos, A - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Roca, R - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Costa, C - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Crusciol, C - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Pinheiro, R - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Kuwahara, F - Universidad De Sao Paulo

Submitted to: Agricultural Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2016
Publication Date: 2/1/2017
Citation: Pariz, C.M., Meirelles, A.M., Yasuoka, J., Martello, J.M., Sarto, J., Franzluebbers, A.J., Cavasano, F., Castilhos, A.M., Roca, R., Costa, C., Crusciol, C.A., Pinheiro, R., Kuwahara, F. 2017. Lamb production responses to grazing on grass in a companion crop system with corn silage and yellow oat oversowing in a tropical region. Agricultural Systems. 151:1-11.

Interpretive Summary: Evaluation of diverse cropping systems is needed to develop more sustainable production systems, particularly in warm-humid regions of the world. A USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientist in Raleigh, North Carolina collaborated with scientists at São Paulo State in Brazil to make evaluations of lamb production on pastures grown from a corn silage production system with intentional cover crops after silage. Biological and economical responses were optimized with intercropping of corn silage with palisade grass at a cutting height of 0.45 m combined with yellow oat overseeding. These results will be useful in designing more sustainable mixed-use grain and forage production systems in warm-humid regions throughout the world.

Technical Abstract: Integrated crop-livestock systems in regions with dry winters could be a viable option to increase food production during times of irregular rain and reduced pasture availability. We investigated a corn (Zea mays L.) silage production system with cover crops of (a) weedy growth of signal grass [Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R. Webster “Basilisk”] and (b) palisade grass [Urochloa brizantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) R. Webster ‘Marandu’ and ‘Piatã’], both with 0.20 and 0.45 m silage cutting height in the summer/autumn. Yellow oat (Avena byzantina cv. São Carlos) was oversown in these systems in the winter/spring, and we determined pasture production, daily ration intake, performance and carcass characteristics of lambs (Ovis aries) grazing these pastures in a semi-feedlot system (supplemented with silage + concentrate), and revenue. The experiment was repeated in the same location for two growing seasons (2010-2011 and 2011-2012) on a Typic Haplorthox in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Intercropping of corn silage with palisade grass was a viable option for diversification of agricultural activities in this tropical region. Analyzing the system as a whole, intercropping of corn silage with palisade grass at a cutting height of 0.45 m combined with yellow oat oversowing was optimum for high silage production, subsequent pasture formation for lamb finishing, limiting daily ration intake, high live weight and carcass gains per hectare, and best economic return of this integrated crop-livestock system.