Forage and vegetal characterization of three native mexican grasses in Tulancingo de Bravo, Hidalgo


Gabriel Gómez-Guzmán
Sergio Iban Mendoza-Pedroza
Filogonio Jesús Hernández-Guzmán
Leodan Tadeo Rodríguez-Ortega
Perpetuo Álvarez-Vázquez
Erick Alfredo Zúñiga-Estrada


Panicum virgatum, Sporobolus airoides, Tripsacum dactyloides, agricultural to livestock conversion.


Objective: To carry out an agronomical assessment and a quantitative description of the yield components of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), and alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) under rainfed conditions in Tulancingo, Hidalgo, Mexico.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A completely randomized block design was used in 31-month-old pastures to determine forage production, morphological composition, seed yield, and weight of 1,000 caryopses. The plants were characterized in 7-month-old pastures, recording (per plant) the number of total and floral stems, as well as the basal twigs in alkali sacaton and switchgrass. Meanwhile, in the case of eastern gamagrass, the dome number and androecium sections were recorded.

Results: The highest forage dry matter production was observed in switchgrass: 9,322 kg ha-1 (P < 0.05). Eastern gamagrass had a higher leaf ratio (1:3). The highest number of seeds was recorded in alkali sacaton: 211 kg ha-1, with 43% physical purity. After 7 months of sowing, a total of 250, 355, and 280 stems and 193, 150, and 87 floral stems were recorded in switchgrass, alkali sacaton, and eastern gamagrass, respectively.

Study Limitations/Implications: Eastern gamagrass produces a low number of seeds; therefore, it must be propagated by plant material. In rainfed soils, grasses help to recover pasture areas, since rainfed agriculture poses a risk in many places as a result of poor rainfall distribution or early frosts.

Findings/Conclusions: The three grasses studied are productive due to the amount of forage accumulated. Alkali sacaton produces more seeds.

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