African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Review

The utilization of tropical legumes to provide nitrogen to pastures: A review

Flávia Maria de Andrade Gimenes
  • Flávia Maria de Andrade Gimenes
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Henrique Zavarez Barbosa
  • Henrique Zavarez Barbosa
  • Animal Production Sustainable - Instituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Luciana Gerdes
  • Luciana Gerdes
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Alessandra Aparecida Giacomini
  • Alessandra Aparecida Giacomini
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Karina Batista
  • Karina Batista
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Waldssimiler Teixeira de Mattos
  • Waldssimiler Teixeira de Mattos
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Linda Mônica Premazzi
  • Linda Mônica Premazzi
  • nstituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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Alberto Nagib de Vasconcellos Miguel
  • Alberto Nagib de Vasconcellos Miguel
  • Animal Production Sustainable - Instituto de Zootecnia (IZ), R. Heitor Penteado, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil
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  •  Received: 31 October 2016
  •  Accepted: 21 December 2016
  •  Published: 12 January 2017

Abstract

Sustainable models of animal production constantly seek for ways to pasture production with inputs reduction. In this context, the introduction of forage legumes in the pasture system is fundamental to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and supply it to grasses, increasing its production and persistence, enhancing animal nutrition as it grazes, at the same time. Still, the use of plant mixes in the system brings further benefits to it, such as better utilization of fertilizers as well as enhances the nutrient cycle and soil coverage. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge regarding intercropping legumes and grasses, especially the use of tropical legumes. The purpose of this review is compiles data about forage legumes as well as analyses them to find new tendencies and gaps on the knowledge to shed some lights on researches in this area. We also expect that this review will help researchers and producers to understand the role of forage legumes in a pasture system and that there will be an increase in its utilization worldwide, especially in the tropics, where nitrogen is easily leached and lost from the pastures. With emphasis on description of promising tropical legumes but still little used Arachis pintoi, Macrotyloma and Neonotonia whightii.

Key words: Arachis pintoi, grass, Macrotyloma axillare, mixed pasture, Neonotonia wightii.