17.11.2014

Estimates for Central America suggest that adoption of Brachiaria grasses generates an additional value of about 1 billion USD in one year, with 80 per cent of the gains accruing to the beef and 20 per cent to the milk industries.

The adaptation of Brachiaria grasses to low-fertility soils has contributed to their use for extensive, low-input pastures but also for intensively managed pastures. Although rotation of annual cropping with grazed pasture is not commonly practised, despite many potential benefits for both crops and forages, it is increasingly becoming an option for farmers in tropical America, above all in Brazil.

From Brachiaria breeding efforts at CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical/ International Center for Tropical Agriculture), three commercial cultivars have so far been released: Mulato, Mulato 2, and Cayman. These three superior Brachiaria-bred cultivars combine high productivity, nutritional quality, resistance to spittlebugs, dry season tolerance, and adaptation to infertile acid soils.