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Strategic grazing management and supplementation towards sustainable intensification at tropical pasture-based beef cattle production systems

Abstract

This project aims to evaluate the effect of different sources of nitrogen fertilization and supplementation with energy sources, non-consumable by humans, associated or not with tannin in the breeding of pasture cattle on performance, metabolism, enteric methane emission, and greenhouse gas production in excretes (methane emission (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ammonia volatilization (NH3)), as well as the effect of the presence of phytogenic additive (tannin) in the diet of beef cattle in Brazil, in two typical scenarios (confined or supplemented to pasture). Nine studies will be conducted, the first assay to evaluate the effect of supplementation with different energy sources associated or not with tannin on the metabolism of cattle in the dry pasture. The second and third studies will evaluate performance and metabolism, and carbon footprint during the recreated period in pasture fertilized with different sources of fertilizers, receiving supplementation with mineral salt, and supplemented with different energy sources with or without tannin, respectively. The fourth and fifth studies will make up two typical scenarios of beef cattle production: finishing in a feedlot and intensive finishing to the pasture of animals from rearing in pastures with different sources of fertilization and rearing with different energy sources, respectively. In the sixth study, the effect of the best fertilization obtained in study 2 associated with the best treatment of study 3 will be evaluated. The seventh and ninth studies will be evaluated energy sources that contain tannin in their composition associated or not with phytogenic additive (tannin - quebracho) in the recreate and termination. In the eighth study, the effect of the best supplementary source obtained in study 2, associated with different protein sources, will be evaluated. In the first metabolism study, nutrient intake and digestibility, ruminal parameters, ruminal microbial diversity, utilization efficiency and nitrogen balance (N), and the second study the enteric methane emission will be evaluated. In studies 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, the performance, feed efficiency, intake, and digestibility of nutrients, rumina parameters, utilization efficiency and nitrogen balance (N), and enteric methane emission and losses of CH4, N2O and NH3 in bovine excreta in pasture and confinement will be evaluated. We hypothesize that nitrogen fertilization results in forage with higher N content and lower N content, and this, when used concomitantly with the added energy supplement or not tannin extract, will increase the synthesis of microbial protein by the presence of non-structural carbohydrates, reduce the loss of N by the complexation of this with tannin and increase the daily weight gain when compared to the mineral supplement. The different systems will also be compared by calculating the carbon footprint in order to identify low carbon cattle production strategies. The results obtained in this proposal will allow the design of nutritional strategies to optimize animal performance with the reduction of environmental impacts of cattle production, with an emphasis on increasing the efficiency of N utilization in typical scenarios of beef cattle production in Brazil. (AU)

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