Tropical Grasslands (1989) Volume 23, 35–42

EFFECT OF FIRST YEAR GRAZING MANAGEMENT ON STYLOSANTHES HAMATA CV. VERANO PRODUCTION AT, MUAK LEK, SARABURI, THAILAND

S. TUDSRI1, B.R. WATKIN2, S. CHANTKAM1, A.C.P. CHU2 and B.J. FORDE3

1Department of Agronomy, Kasetsart University, Bangkhen, Bangkok, Thailand.
2Department of Agronomy, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
3C/- Grasslands Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Abstract

The effects of first-year grazing management of a pure sward of Stylosanthes hamata cv. Verano on production and survival were examined from May to November. The experimental area was grazed at first flowering, approximately 6 weeks from sowing. Thereafter 2 grazing treatments were imposed on the regrowth, viz. at first and full flowering respectively. The results of this study showed that grazing at first flower or approximately at 4-weekly intervals produced significantly higher dry matter yields (11.56 t/ha) than at full flower or approximately 8-weekly intervals (6.29 t/ha), and gave a more even distribution throughout the experimental period. Percentage of leaf dry matter yield was also increased significantly. Plant density for both treatments declined with time but was more sharply reduced, and to a lower level, under less frequent grazing. By the end of the season (November), only 19.5 plants/m2 survived under an 8-weekly grazing regime compared with 62.3 plants/m2 under 4-weekly grazing. Branch recovery was also poor under the longer grazing interval. Results of this study are discussed in relation to the production of Stylosanthes hamata in improved pastures in Thailand.

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