Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 26–34

Seed production of two brachiaria hybrid cultivars in north-east Thailand. 1. Method and time of planting

M.D. HARE, P. TATSAPONG AND K. SAIPRASET

Faculty of Agriculture, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

Abstract

Four field experiments were conducted during 2003–2005 in north-east Thailand to study the effects of method and time of planting on seed production, forage production before closing to seed and forage as harvest stubble of 2 apomictic brachiaria hybrid cultivars, Mulato (Brachiaria ruziziensis x B. brizantha) and Mulato II (B. ruziziensis x B. decumbens x B. brizantha).
Seed crops established by planting tillers produced 60% (Trial 2 vs Trial 1) and 117% (Trial 3) more seed than seed crops established by sowing seed. Crops planted with tillers produced approximately 20% more inflorescences and 90% more seeds/m2 than crops planted with seed. Planting early in the wet season (May–June) produced the most brachiaria hybrid seed in 3 out of 4 trials in the current study, with infl orescence numbers and seeds/m2 being the determining seed yield components.
Forage production before closing to seed was signifi cantly higher in early-planted seed crops than those planted late and in crops planted with tillers than in those sown from seed.
Seed yields of both hybrid cultivars were extremely low (≤ 150 kg/ha). The failure of cv. Mulato, in particular, to produce adequate quantities of good seed, was attributed to a failure of seed-set (most likely caused by pollen sterility), caryopsis maturation or a combination. The low seed production of cv. Mulato II was caused by waterlogging, because, in an adjacent trial with no waterlogging, seed yields were over 500 kg/ha.

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