Part of the book: Soil Fertility
Pastures in the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are characterized by native species (Paspalum spp., Axonopus spp., etc.). These, are limited by productivity due to their low nutritional quality and poor persistence on grazing. The adaptation of new grass and legume species is essential to improve the productivity of animal production. An initial assessment should include the climatic and edaphic adaptation to the region. Species, such as Andropogon gayanus, Pueraria phaseoloides, Centrosema spp., Arachis pintoi, and Cratylia argentea, were evaluated, showing encouraging results compared to native species; our efforts were focused on C. argentea. Several research methods were applied to meet the objectives outlined for each experiment, including methodologies for the establishment of new species. All these trials were subject to rigorous experimental designs, and data were analyzed statistically, using the most adequate programs. These experiences allow us to visualize the most promising materials for the specific conditions of climate and soil. The potential results of this new forage species stand out. Also, these experiments allowed the development of new management practices to improve the productivity of the animal production systems of the region. C. argentea demonstrated its high forage value as a species suitable for silvopastoral systems.
Part of the book: New Perspectives in Forage Crops