Analysis of the growth of Chetumal grass established in a tropical climate


Jesús M. Calzada-Marín
Eusebio Ortega-Jiménez
Javier F. Enríquez-Quiroz
Humberto Vaquera-Huerta
J. Alberto S. Escalante-Estrada
Anadelia Antonio-Medina


Brachiaria humidicola, Urochloa humidicola cv. Chetumal, plant height, growth, and intercepted radiation.


Objective: To evaluate the growth of Chetumal grass (Urochloa humidicola CIAT 679), in order to determine the optimal moment for the first harvest.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A completely randomized experimental block design, with measurements repeated over time, and three repetitions was used. Morphological composition (MC), growth rate (GR), plant height (PH), intercepted radiation (IR), leaf:stem ratio (L:S), leaf:no-leaf ratio (L:NL), and aerial biomass (AB) —as well as leaf biomass (LB), stem biomass (SB), dead material (DM), net growth (NG), and total biomass (TB)— were evaluated every fifteen days, except for the two first samplings, which were carried out on a monthly basis. Data were analyzed using the GLM procedure of the SAS software and Tukey’s mean comparison test (α£0.05).

Results: The morphological composition (MC) of the Chetumal grass was statistically different (p<0.05), during the different growth ages. The maximum accumulation of total biomass (TB) (13,324 kg DM ha-1), leaf biomass (LB) (2,569 kg DM ha-1), and growth rate (GR) (99 kg DM ha-1 d-1) was reached at 135 DAS. On that day, the prairie reached a 68 cm plant height (PH) and 100% intercepted radiation (IR). The L:S ratio decreased from 1.62 to 0.31, while L:NL ratio changed from 1.62 to 0.22.

Study Limitations/Implications: The Brachiaria humidicola cv. Chetumal grass reached its highest potential during the rainy season.

Findings/Conclusions: The first cut of the Urochloa humidicola cv. Chetumal grass can be carried out at 135 DAS, when the highest accumulation of total biomass (TB), leaf biomass (LB), and growth rate (GR) is recorded.

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