Tropical Grasslands (2001) Volume 35, 144–150

Effect of cutting on yield and quality of Paspalum atratum in Thailand

M.D. HARE1, M. SAENGKHAM1, C. KAEWKUNYA1, S. TUDSRI2, W. SURIYAJANTRATONG1, K. THUMMASAENG1 and K. WONGPICHET1

1Faculty of Agriculture, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
2Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkhen, Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract

Two trials were conducted to determine the effect of varying cutting height and interval on growth and forage quality of Ubon paspalum (Paspalum atratum) pastures grown in Thailand on low fertility soils. In Trial 1, an increase in cutting height (from 0 to 20 cm above ground level) increased total DM yield at 20-d cutting intervals, had no effect at 30 days and decreased yields at 60-d cutting intervals. Cutting interval significantly increased DM yields in Trial 1 with the major response between 30- and 60-d intervals. Increasing the interval between harvests reduced concentrations of CP, K and P but increased the concentrations of NDF and ADF. In Trial 1, increases in cutting interval and cutting height increased stubble and root DM per plant.
In Trial 2, Ubon paspalum DM yields generally were significantly different only between 20- and 60-d cutting intervals. Cutting every 20 days over a 240-d period produced 74% (21.6 t/ha) of the total DM yield from cutting every 60 days (28.9 t/ha) but crude protein concentration was nearly twice as high (10.0 vs 5.3%).
The cutting interval to be chosen by farmers is discussed in terms of the combination of yield and quality desired to produce different animal products.

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