Carol Estrella Uu-Espens, Dixan Pozo-Leyva, Deb Raj Aryal, Benito Bernardino Dzib-Castillo, Gilberto Villanueva-López, Fernando Casanova-Lugo, Alfonso Juventino Chay-Canul, Jorge Rodolfo Canúl-Solís


Background: The use of Tithonia diversifolia foliage can improve the quality of animal feed because its crude protein content doubles that of tropical grasses. However, plant response regarding biomass production to frequent harvest disturbances are not known well. Objective: To evaluate the effect of different cutting heights and repeated harvests on biomass production and nutrient content of T. diversifolia in fodder banks under warm sub-humid climate. Methodology: We used a completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement; the treatments consisted of six harvest dates: Mar, May, July, September, November 2019 and January 2020; and three harvest heights: 40, 60 and 80 cm from the ground level. After each harvest date, the biomass was separated into different components, weighed and dried. Samples were taken to analyse the chemical composition of the forage. Results: The highest yield of leaves was found in the month of January, while tender stems in November. The Senescent material and total biomass were lower in September. The cutting height influenced leaf yield. Crude protein content was higher in September at a cutting height of 60 cm. Neutral detergent fiber was higher in the month of November for all cutting heights. Likewise, the highest contents of acid detergent fiber were in November for all cutting heights and in January for the cutting height of 60 cm. Lignin content was similar for all treatments. Implications: These results contribute to the development sustainable livestock production by providing alternatives to reduce grassland degradation from overgrazing. Conclusion: Biomass yield and chemical composition of T. diversifolia are affected by harvest date and heights, so it is necessary to consider it in the management strategies for optimal use of forage resources, incorporation in silvopastoral systems and the development of sustainable livestock production.


fodder bank; forage quality; growth response; Mexican sunflower; repeated harvests

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Copyright (c) 2023 Fernando Casanova Lugo, Carol Estrella Uu-Espens, Dixan Pozo-Leyva, Deb Raj Aryal, Benito Bernardino Dzib-Castillo, Gilberto Villanueva-López, Alfonso Juventino Chay-Canul, Jorge Rodolfo Canúl-Solís

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