Quality of three Megathyrsus maximus cultivars in the Empalme area, Ecuador

Y. Méndez-Martínez, D. Verdecia, J. Reyes-Pérez, R. A. Luna-Murillo, Marisol Rivero-Herrada, L. B. Montenegro-Vivas, R. Herrera

Abstract


Using a random block design with factorial arrangement (3x3) with five replications, the yields and quality of three Megathyrsus maximus cultivars (Common, Tanzania and Tobiata) and three regrowth ages (21, 42 and 63 days) were studied in the Empalme area, Ecuador. The yields of total dry matter, biomass, leaves and stems were determined, as well as the plant height, length and width of leaves, the contents of DM, CP, NDF, ADF, ADL, cellulose (Cel), hemicellulose ( Hcel), cellular content (CC), P, Ca, ash, OM, DMD, OMD, ME, FNE and relations leaf-stem, NDF-N and ADF-N. Analysis of variance was performed according to experimental design. There was significant interaction (P <0.0001) between the varieties and the regrowth age for all the studied indicators. The highest DM and biomass yields were obtained in Tanzania at 63 days of regrowth (4.18 and 12 t/ha, respectively). The CP and CC decreased with the maturity of the plant and the best values were obtained in Tanzania at 21 days of regrowth (12.56 and 64.40 %, respectively), while the components of the cell wall increased with age and Tanzania showed the best values. The results of this research showed the variability of the studied indicators determined by regrowth age and varieties, although the response patterns were similar for the varieties but with specific values for each of them. The best balance of the indicators was showed by Tanzania and the Common and Tobiata are not ruled out. Future studies of its use in the milk and beef production are recommended.
Key words: quality, regrowth age, Megathyrsus maximus, digestibility, energy

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