Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 26–34

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


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


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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