Tropical Grasslands (1992) Volume 26, 181–186

Tropical legume screening in the lowlands of Costa Rica

W.D. PITMAN, A.E. KRETSCHMER, Jr., C.G. CHAMBLISS, M. LEIVA C. and G. GUEVARA R.

University of Florida and Ministry of Agriculture, San Jose, Costa Rica

Abstract

The two distinct lowland regions of Costa Rica include important livestock production areas. Pasture improvement has primarily involved introducing new grasses, but potential exists for further pasture improvement through the use of tropical legumes. Fifty tropical legume accessions were selected for screening at a single site in both regions. These accessions were sown in existing stargrass (Cynodon aethiopicus) pastures with plant survival subsequently monitored through periodic visual stand rating. In the Pacific region (Guanacaste Province), Desmanthus virgatus and Centrosema pubescens were the most persistent entries under seasonal rainfall with a distinct dry season. In the Atlantic region (Limon Province), several accessions of Stylosanthes guianensis along with individual entries of C. pubescens and Aeschynomene americana showed the greatest promise under the more uniformly distributed rainfall.

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