Introduction: In the temperate-semiarid region of Aguascalientes, Mexico, most of the rural population depends on rainfed agriculture related to the family milk production system.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of different fertilization practices on forage yield and quality of three rainfed crops in four- and six-row seedbeds.
Methodology: Five fertilization treatments were evaluated: T1) control (no fertilization), T2) chemical fertilization (40-40-00 kg·ha-1 of N-P-K), T3) mixture (28-40-00 kg·ha-1 and 26 kg of zeolite), T4) organic fertilizer (5 t·ha-1 of bovine manure) and T5) mycorrhiza (inoculation with 350 g·ha-1 of mycorrhizal substrate). Maize and sunflowers were planted in four rows, and sorghum in six rows. A randomized complete block design with four replicates was used.
Results: Dry matter yield in relation to the control, in T2, T3 and T4 was 100, 84 and 26 % for maize, 123, 177 and 67 % for sunflowers, and 52, 49 and 91 % for sorghum, respectively. T5 was higher compared to T1, but without statistical difference. Forage quality of the three crops showed no increase, except for crude protein in T2 and T3.
Limitations of the study: Results correspond to a single cycle (spring-summer).
Originality: Good agronomic practices for forage production were established.
Conclusions: Agronomic practices (minimum tillage, in situ rainwater harvesting, sowing methods and fertilization) generate a positive effect on yield and forage quality in rainfed crops.