Height and mowing of pasture at the end of winter modulate the tillering of Marandu palisadegrass in spring
In pastures subjected to stockpiling, the tiller population goes through an intense process of self-thinning, hindering the recruitment of new tillers in the subsequent season. We evaluated different pasture management strategies in late winter in an attempt to modify tiller recruitment during spring. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu was maintained at 4 different levels (heights) of stockpiled pasture at the end of winter: short (15.1 cm), medium (23.2 cm), tall (31.4 cm) and tall/mown (31.3 cm, mown to 8 cm). In October (early spring), the short and tall/mown pastures had a tiller appearance rate (TAR) and a population stability index (PSI) superior (P<0.05) to that of the tall pasture. During the remainder of the growing season, these characteristics (TAR and PSI) were similar for all pastures. Tiller survival rate (TSR) was also highest (P<0.05) in short pasture in early spring. TAR values were highest in early spring and these tillers persisted throughout the growing season. When stockpiling Marandu palisadegrass pasture during spring it is important to have it short at the end of winter to ensure early and intense tillering in spring. If pasture is tall at the end of winter mowing at this time before spelling is advantageous.