Abstract

A plantation established in 1993 with 60 cm, 90 cm and 120 cm between rows, was harvested 60 cm above the ground, 26 times at different pruning intervals between 56 and 112 days. Three pruning techniques were used: control, semi-clean and completely clean. Every 84th day of growth, the shoots were harvested and the total content of dry material, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and ash were analyzed. The semiclean pruning caused a 10% loss in the production of dry leaf material per hectare and a 13% in the stem yield, compared to the control. The joint harvest of leaves and stems decreased 11%. The completely clean pruning caused a 32% decline in the yield of dry material in the leaves per hectare and 36% in stem production, compared to the control. The total yield decreased 33%. The nutritional quality of the shoots, leaves and stems was similar among the different pruning techniques.