Performance of three persistent native legumes and Codariocalyx gyroides and Brachiaria mutica under grazing
AbstractIn a continuation of an earlier clipping trial, three Belizean native legume (Desmodium canum, Centrosema plumieri, Calopogonium caeruleum) and Codariocalyx gyroides were grown in mixed replicated sward with Brachiaria mutica and grazed at six-weekly intervals for 18 months. Pre- and post-grazing observations were taken and a final clipping was done for dry matter yields. All legumes persisted and increased their plot covers markedly. C. gyroides had a higher grazing index than the other legumes. The harvested dry matter of legumes with the exception of C. plumieri, increased compared to that in the equivalent period in the earlier trial and that of C. gyroides was markedly higher. Over the three years of the two trials mortality of C. gyroides was 34 per cent, but some plants were self-sown. Hand plucking of palatabte plant portions indicated that in the final harvest there would be about 1040 kg/ha of C. gyroides dry matter available. The grass became sparse, patchy and fibrous under grazing and was leafiest in the C. gyroides plots.