ILRI. Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) for livestock feed on small-scale farms. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI. Permanent link to cite or share this item. Here, we evaluated the effects of exudates from Brachiaria decumbens roots on the growth, physiology and nitrogen metabolism of seedlings of. The root system of B. decumbens has finer and longer roots than some other Brachiaria species providing superior uptake of P and N from the soil. However, it is.


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Signal grass mainly differs in its habit which is more decumbent, brachiaria decumbens tufted, and forms a looser cover FAO, ; Cook et al. Unlike Congo grass Brachiaria ruziziensisit brachiaria decumbens relatively free of pest and disease problems although sporadic attacks by spittlebug Cercopoidea have been reported from South America Loch, It is a valuable forage used in permanent pastures.

It is high-yielding and forms low leafy stands that do well on infertile soils. It is palatable to all classes of livestock and withstands brachiaria decumbens grazing Cook et al.


Signal grass can be grazed, cut to be fed fresh or to be made brachiaria decumbens hay. Signal grass is used as a brachiaria decumbens crop to prevent erosion and to control weeds and insects Mollot et al.

It is now widespread in the tropics and sub-tropics.

It was introduced from Africa into sown pastures of humid lowlands of tropical America in the 's Pizarro et al. Signal grass has a deep root system that effectively extracts P brachiaria decumbens N from the soil.

Brachiaria decumbens grass is also moderately tolerant of Mn.


It does not grow well brachiaria decumbens heavy clays subject to waterlogging but it is tolerant of a dry season of 4 to 5 months FAO, Signal grass is tolerant of shade and can be intercropped with tall species and in tree plantations rubber, banana, coconut.

It is less tolerant of heavy grazing under reduced light Cook et al. Though not really subject to fire, signal grass can be burned and resume its growth from stolons and seeds with the onset of the rains Brachiaria decumbens et al.

Signal grass (Brachiaria decumbens) for livestock feed on small-scale farms

Forage management Management Signal grass can be propagated by seeds brachiaria decumbens by vegetative cuttings leaves and rhizomes.

Hetero Desmodium heterophyllum appeared to do better as a companion legume Cook et al.

In Fiji, pinto peanut Brachiaria decumbens pintoi formed stable mixtures with signal grass. Signal grass requires no more than 3 months to form a dense cover. It should then be heavily and frequently grazed to maintain leaf growth.


Signal grass withstands trampling. Yield Signal grass is a high yielding species, particularly if N brachiaria decumbens is provided. In subtropical environments production occurs between spring and autumn, decreases during dry seasons brachiaria decumbens ceases during winter Cook et al.

In Sao Paulo, in Western Brazil, the average availability of forage was 2.

Brachiaria decumbens

It was reported to be a valuable cover crop in upland rice systems. Growing signal grass before a rice crop resulted in higher rice grain yields when ammonium brachiaria decumbens and a nitrification inhibitor were applied to the crop Rosolem et al.

It was successfully used in no-tillage tomato systems to reduce weeds and improve soil structure Silva Hirata et al. Signal grass can be used for reclamation of lead-contaminated sites, road sides and urban areas where lead contamination is likely to have brachiaria decumbens.

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