Tropical Grasslands (2007) Volume 41, 43–49

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


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


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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