Brachiaria hybrids: potential, forage use and seed yield

Esteban A. Pizarro, Michael D. Hare, Mpenzi Mutimura, Bai Changjun


A brachiaria breeding program initiated in 1988 at CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, Cali, Colombia) combined desirable attributes found in accessions of Brachiaria brizantha and B. decumbens. Three apomictic hybrids have been released (cvv. Mulato, Mulato II and Cayman). Mulato showed agronomic potential but seed yields were low. Trials in Central America demonstrated the superiority of Mulato II, a vigorous grass with deep and branched roots, giving it excellent drought tolerance in the Brazilian Cerrado and Mexico, plus outstanding nutritional value. Following trials in Mexico and Thailand, evaluating 155 new hybrids for 7 years, cv. Cayman was released due to strong waterlogging tolerance. Research on production, quality and seed yields of brachiaria hybrids in Asia, the Americas and Africa from 2003 to 2013 is summarized in this paper.

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