forage grasses, Bouteloua, grasslands.
This study aims to evaluate the production and quality of buffel (Pennisetum ciliare), rhodes (Chloris gayana), and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) forage with three defoliation dates —at 50, 80, and 110 days after regrowth (dar)— in Valle del Mezquital. Crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), total digestible nutrients (TDN), relative feed value (RFV), and metabolizable energy (ME) were determined. A completely randomized design with three repetitions, a Tukey test for mean separation (α 0.05), and SAS Proc GLM for data analysis were used. The highest forage production occurs in the rhodes forage at 110 dar (12,936 kg DM ha-1). The highest CP (10.6%) was found in the buffel forage at 50 dar; in the rhodes forage, both values (80 and 110) were lower than 7%. The highest RFV was obtained by exotic grasses; however, higher TDN was recorded for the blue grama grass. Rhodes grass obtained the lowest ME at 80 dar (1.76), while the highest ME was obtained by buffel at 50 dar (1.91). The three varieties can be defoliated when the plants show intermediate yield and nutritional value, i.e., 80 days after the regrowth begins; nevertheless, buffel and rhodes should be defoliated at 50 dar.