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Redesign of ruminant production systems using multifunctional forage plants


More heterogeneous productive systems with greater biodiversity can help mitigate impacts of conventional agricultural activities and remain competitive in the market. In production of ruminants, properties can be reconfigured to be multifunctional, efficient in productivity and to generate less environmental impacts, by including forage species which perform animal welfare, health and nutrition functions, carrying out ecosystem services and having socio-cultural values for those who handle them. The main of this research is to establish new designs for production properties of ruminants, from the selection and use of multifunctional forage species, that develop these functions. Perception analysis will be carried out with producers, and field surveys will be done, to select new plants to be inserted in the production system. Then, laboratory characterization of materials with potential for redesign will be carried out, through the identification of secondary compounds in these plants, chemical composition, digestibility, fermentation, and gas production in vitro. In addition, digestibility tests with sheep and blood count and metabolic profile of these animals will be conducted. The results produced will be used in a prediction model and redesign of a property, considering its productivity, environmental impacts and socio-cultural aspects indicated by the producers. (AU)

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