ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 57 Number 3
Mineral composition of Digitaria decumbens and Brachiaria decumbens in Jamaica
Copper, manganese, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium contents of foliage of Brachiaria decumbens and Digitaria decumbens are given from two sites. All mineral levels fell within the typical range reported for pasture plants in temperate regions. Sodium content served as a major distinguishing feature between the two species. Digitaria decumbens showed potential for high sodium uptake while levels in Brachiaria decumbens were consistently very low. The latter supports reported symptoms of salt craving in cattle grazing pure Brachiaria pastures. The sodium-potassium interaction is discussed in relation to grass mineral uptake and soil mineral data. Herbage copper levels were low, and mature Brachiaria herbage had values normally reported as deficient for animal nutrition.