Edible shoot phytomass production of tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus subsp. palmensis) in two climatic contrasted areas in the mediterranean climate region of central Chile.

Carlos Ovalle M.1, Susana Arredondo S.1, Julia Avendaño R.2, Fernando Fernández E.2 y Luis Neira E.3

With the objective of evaluating growth rate and phytomass production potential of the promising fodder shrub, tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus subsp. palmensis), five-year field studies were conducted in two sites in the mediterranean climate region of Chile: Cauquenes (interior drylands) and Lebu (coastal drylands). Evaluations were carried out over five years (1990-1995). In addition to growth parameters, variations in the chemical composition (crude protein and acid detergent fibre (ADF» of the edible parts of the plant were evaluated over the course of the year. 8est results were obtained in Lebu, with plant heights attaining 3.43 m after only 2 years. In Cauquenes, maximum height obtained during the same period was only 2.43 m. Above-ground phytomass production over five years was also higher in the coastal area, with values of 6,275 km DM/ha in the fifth year. At Cauquenes, production was lower, yet still reached 4,275 kg DM/ha. Crude protein content of tagasaste leaves varied between 16.7 and 25.7%; while ADF varied between 19.7 and 25.0%. In young stems (<5 mm diameter), interannual variation in protein content was 9.8 to 13.5%, and 40.9 to 50% for ADF. Tagasaste c1early shows high potential as a fodder resource under rainfed conditions in the mediterranean-c1imate region, both for its high growth and production potential, and for the high quality oif the fodder produced.

Keywords: fodder production, tagasaste, nutritive value, fodder shrub, silvopastoral systems, multipurpose trees.
1 Centro Regional de Investigación Quilamapu (INIA), Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile.
2 Centro Experimental Cauquenes (INIA), Casilla 165, Cauquenes, Chile.
3 Ingeniero Agrónomo, Los Nogales 95, Concepción, Chile.