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Precision herding, dynamics of the ingestive process and methane emission by sheep under contrasting sward structures.

Grant number: 18/19570-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Production
Principal researcher:Ricardo Lopes Dias da Costa
Grantee:Taise Robinson Kunrath
Home Institution: Instituto de Zootecnia. Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Nova Odessa , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/50339-5 - Institutional research development plan of the Animal Science Institute (PDIp), AP.PDIP


The objective of this work will be to evaluate the ingestive behavior and the emission of methane from sheep in mixed pastures of Aruana grass (Panicum maximum cv. Aruana) with forage legumes Macrotilomoa axillare, Neonotonia wiight, Calopogonium mucunoides, Stylosantes spp. in an integrated crop livestock systems. Maize, Aruana grass and legumes will be planted simultaneously. After crop harvest, the pasture already formed will be evaluated in four sward height treatments (15, 30, 45 and 60 cm) under continuous stocking by sheep in a randomized block design with four replicates of plot and two repetitions of time. The blocking criterion will be the period of the day of the evaluations (morning or afternoon). Each paddock will have an area of 500 m2 so that the sward height does not decrease more than 5% throughout the period of occupation, thus aiming that the same pasture structure that the animal finds at the beginning of grazing is still fully available in the end of the test. Evaluations will be carried out between January 2019 and April 2021. Animal performance, ingestive behavior, diet selection (animal consumption) and methane emission by animals in the different treatments will be evaluated. The results will be used in management action recommendations of multispecies pastures of Aruana grass with legumes to increase the efficiency of integrated systems and consequent sustainability. It is expected to generate scientific knowledge on the structure of pasture where the maximum intake of herbage per unit of time occurs, translating this in adequate height of pasture management. In addition, investigating the dynamics of grazing process using precision livestock sensors will provide relevant information about how the animal exploits the different pasture structures, which will support new hypotheses and assist in understanding the processes involved.

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