Abstract

Introduction. Among the limitations of the livestock systems of the Colombian high tropic is fodder seasonality. The use of silvopastoral systems could be a strategy to maximize food production and guarantee a supply of nutrients throughout the year. Objective. The objective was to evaluate in Tithonia diversifolia and Sambucus nigra established in a silvopastoral system, the effect of two ages and cutting heights on morphometric, production, and nutritional quality variables. Materials and methods. The study was conducted at the Obonuco Research Center of the Corporacion Colombiana de Investigacion Agropecuaria (AGROSAVIA) (Pasto, Colombia) between January and November 2018. A random block design was established in factorial arrangement with four treatments (two ages and two cutting heights) for each species (T1:60 days*20 cm, T2:60 days*50 cm, T3:80 days*20 cm, T4:80 days*50 cm for T. diversifolia and T1:60 days*30 cm, T2:60 days*50 cm, T3:90 days*30cm, T4:90 days*50 cm for S. nigra). Results. The productive variables showed significance in T. diversifolia with higher dry matter (DM kg/bush) at 80 days (30.6 ton ha-1 year-1) and S. nigra at 90 days (14.4 ton ha-1 year-1); the number of branches and shoots showed higher values in T4 for T. diversifolia (127.10 branches/bush and 819.65 shoots/bush). The nutritional quality of T. diversifolia and S. nigra was significantly higher at 60 days; with 26.73 % and 26.25% crude protein, digestibility of 75.45 %, and 76.28 %, and net lactation energy of 1.58 and 1.60 Mcal kg-1 DM, respectively. Conclusion. Biomass production (DM) and resurgence capacity increased when harvested at 80 days in T. diversifolia and 90 days in S. nigra; however, a better nutritional quality was presented at cutting ages of 60 days in the high tropic of Nariño, which evidenced its productive potential for cattle feeding.


 

Keywords: silvopastoral systems, forages, food, age, height