Germplasm collection and preliminary evaluation of the pasture legume Centrosema brasilianum (L.) Benth.
The origin of the collection was mainly from Venezuela and Brazil with 88 and 54 accessions, respectively. Collections from Colombia and Panama are represented by 8 and 1 sample, respectively. The geographical distribution of Centrosema brasilianum is given along with a description of its natural environment and native habitat. A preliminary evaluation was carried out on this species to determine its potential in the pasture. The principal parameter measured was the dry matter yield. Chemical analyses were performed on the first cut. The results showed a crude protein range of 11.8 % to 19.6 %, a phosphorus concentration range of 0.13 % to 0.26 % and a calcium concentration of 0.37 % to 1.17 %. The time to first flower ranged from 10 to 101 days. Considerable variation was found in herbage yields which were affected by plant adaptation to soil acidity, with high Aluminum and manganese levels (pH 4.1, 89 % Al saturation and 110 ppm Mn) and by susceptibility to Rhizoctonia foliar blight (RFB)