Beef production system on tall fescue-subterranean clover pasture in the valley of IX Region

Claudia Rojas G.1 y Oriella Romero y.1

An experimental trial was conducted at Carillanca Station (INIA, Temuco), during 5 years to develop a beef production system with Hereford steers and tall fescue-subterranean clover mixture pasture, under dryland conditions in four hectare. The pasture was rotationally grazed from October to January and continuosly grazed the rest of the year. The pasture surplus was conserved as silage to be used during winter. The fertilizer applied (phosphate and nitrogen in April and August respectively)was determined by soil test analysis. Each year, the stocking rate was adjusted. Steers, 7 to 8 months old and 200 kg Iiveweight, grazed pasture from April to January, each year, at the end of each period animals had reached finishing weight and fat adecuate for sale. The pasture production was 8,183 ± 988 kg/ha of D. M. with 271 ± 16 day of grazing. The stocking rate was 2.5,3.0,3.5,4 y 5 steers/ha from the first to fifth year, respectivelly. The Iiveweight and growth rate of steers in the first four years averaged 386 and 0.684 kg/an., respectively. In the fifth year the liveweight only reached 342 kg/an. and the growth rate, 0.531 kg/an. However, the annualliveweight production gradually increased from 460 to 765 kg/ha since the first to fifth year. There was a positive balance of conserve-consumed forage, with gradual decreases to the third year, and negative the rest of the time. As a conclusion, the system showed the best productive parameters for pasture and steers with 3.5 steers/ha.

Keywords: steers, fescue, subterranean clover, mixture pasture, beef production system, rice.
1 Estación Experimental Carillanca (INIA), Casilla 58-D, Temuco, Chile.