Defoliation and burning effects on the tillering of Brachiaria decumbens.
Swards of B. decumbens cv. Basilisk were cut at 0 and 10 cm height and the cut material removed or cut, field-dried and burnt 0, 4 or 8 days after cutting with a fuel load of 400 or 1600 g/m2. Tillering was enhanced by cutting to ground level and removing surface residues, and by burning a light fuel load immediately after cutting. Seedling emergence was reduced in the 10 cm cut treatment where surface residues were retained. Max. temp. at soil surface was little affected by fuel load, but duration of temp. above 100°C was increased by fuel load. The use of different systems of residue disposal directed to synchronizing tiller emergence and to maximizing tiller density in grass seed crops is discussed.