ABSTRACT.
Growth curve in elephant grass genotypes based on morpho-agronomic traits for energy production

Ana-Kesia F. Vidal1*, Rogério F. Daher1, Rafael S. Freitas1, Wanessa F. Stida1, Francisco-José da S. Lédo2, Verônica B. da Silva3, Geovana C. Entringer1, Flávio D. Tardin4, Geraldo de A. Gravina1, Marcelo Vivas1, Alexandre G. de Souza1, Moisés Ambrósio1, Josefa-Grasiela da S. Santana1, and João E.C. Farias1
 
The elephant grass (Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone) is one of the species with great prominence for energy production because of its favorable traits, such as high yield and short cycle, combined with several biomass quality characteristics. Therefore, this study intended to evaluate the morpho-agronomic traits of eight elephant grass genotypes under different cutting ages. A randomized block design with three replicates was applied to the experiment, and plots were composed of a 12 m long line divided into six subplots for each of the bimonthly cuts. Eight genotypes were evaluated in the plots, and the cutting ages (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-mo) were analyzed in the subplots. The following traits were assessed: DM yield, (DMY) percentage of DM, and average plant height (HEI). All genetic-statistical analyses were conducted using the Genes Program. The evaluated genotypes showed nonsignificant differences, indicating that, for the evaluated traits, these genotypes are genetically similar. Most genotypes presented linear effect of 2nd degree in the two assessment cuts, pointing they did not reach their maximum capacity of DMY in the time interval of the evaluated cuts. The maximum %DM achieved for the most genotypes occurred at about 9-mo age, while genotypes Vruckwona and BAG-86 at about 10-mo age. The maximum points for HEI trait were between 8 and 10-mo age. Increasing the cutting interval leads to increases in DM yield, with the 10-mo cutting age being the most efficient, resulting in higher yields.
Keywords: Bioenergy, Cenchrus purpureus, cutting age, dry matter yield.
1Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Agropecuárias, Av. Alberto Lamego, 2000, Parque Califórnia, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro – CEP: 28013-602, Brasil.
*Corresponding author (anakesia.vidal@hotmail.com).
2Embrapa Gado de Leite, Rua Eugênio do Nascimento, 610, Dom Bosco, CEP 36038-330, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerias, Brasil.
3Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI), Campus Universitário Ministro Petrônio Portella, Ininga, Teresina, Piauí, 64049-550, Brasil.
4Embrapa Milho e Sorgo, Rodovia MG-424, km 45, CEP: 35701-970, Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brasil.