Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 43–49

Seed production of two brachiaria hybrid cultivars in north-east Thailand. 3. Harvesting method

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

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

Abstract

Two field trials were conducted during 2003–2005 in north-east Thailand to investigate the seed yield and seed viability of 2 brachiaria hybrid cultivars, Mulato (Brachiaria ruziziensis x B. brizantha) and Mulato II (B. ruziziensis x B. decumbens x B. brizantha) from a range of non-destructive manual harvesting methods and the method of manual ground recovery of fallen seed.
Tying light-weight nylon net bags over seedheads at anthesis to collect seed yielded 82% and 38% more Mulato seed in 2003 and 2004, respectively, than 3 methods of hand knocking seed from seedheads. In 2005, the nylon net bag method produced twice as much seed of Mulato II (508 kg/ha) as 3 methods of knocking seed from seedheads (252 kg/ha). Seed yields from ground sweeping produced the lowest seed yields in 2004 (Mulato) and 2005 (Mulato II). Seed viability was lower in ground-swept Mulato II seed than in seed from other harvesting methods.
The difficulties of manually harvesting brachiaria hybrids by farmers in Thailand and prospects for improving seed yields are discussed.

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