The intercropping of annual crops with perennial grasses is a production system that is frequently adopted in the Midwest region of Brazil due to its economic viability resulting from the use of the same area for agriculture and livestock. Most agriculture-livestock integration studies have evaluated the use of forage of the genus Urochloa in intercropped systems with corn, sorghum and sunflower. Consequently, there is a lack of information regarding pearl millet cultivation when grown simultaneously with tropical forages. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the agronomic characteristics of pearl millet Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br as well as the production and nutritional characteristics of Paiaguas palisadegrass (Urochloa brizantha cv. Paiaguas) under different forage systems and sowing periods in the offseason. The experiment was conducted at the Federal Institute of Goiás, Rio Verde campus. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a 5 × 2 factorial arrangement and three replications. There were two sowing periods (February and March) and five forage systems: monocropped pearl millet; monocropped Paiaguas palisadegrass; pearl millet intercropped in rows with Paiaguas palisadegrass; pearl millet intercropped between rows of Paiaguas palisadegrass and pearl millet oversown and intercropped with Paiaguas palisadegrass. The results indicated that the Paiaguas palisadegrass did not affect the pearl millet grain yield, indicating that the intercropping of pearl millet and Paiaguas palisadegrass in the offseason is a promising cultivation technique for the production of grains during the offseason in Southeastern Goiás. However, the second sowing period provided better grain yields and a higher number of sacks per hectare. With respect to forage yield, the Paiaguas palisadegrass sown in oversown pearl millet was impaired by the intercropping and produced low forage yield. With respect to forage quality, the intercropped sowing system did not affect the nutritional characteristics of the Paiaguas palisadegrass.
Key words: Urochloa brizantha, agriculture-livestock integration, Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.
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