Effect of defoliation frequency and height of cutting on growth, dry matter yield and nutritive value of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum (L.) Schumach)

Z.K. Tessema, J. Mihret, M. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Growth characteristics, dry-matter (DM) yield, chemical components and in vitro dry-matter digestibility (IVDMD) of Napier grass were studied in a randomized complete block design with three replications at Haramaya University, Ethiopia. The treatments were three defoliation frequencies (60, 90 and 120 d after Napier grass establishment) and five cutting heights (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 cm above ground level). Except for leaf-to-stem ratio, all growth characteristics increased with decreasing frequency of defoliation. Similarly, DM yield of Napier grass increased as the frequency of defoliation decreased. Total ash, crude protein (CP), hemicellulose and IVDMD contents of Napier grass increased with increasing frequency of defoliation, whereas DM, acid detergent fibre, acid detergent lignin and cellulose contents increased with a decrease in defoliation frequency. In contrast, cutting heights had no significant effect on most chemical components and IVDMD contents, although total ash and CP decreased as the height of cutting increased. The CP yield per cut and per day was highest at an intermediate defoliation frequency. The results of this study indicated that Napier grass could be categorized under medium- to high-quality herbage if defoliated at 90 d after establishment in the mid and highlands of Ethiopia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Volume65
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • sesbania-sesban
  • weight gains
  • feed-intake
  • digestibility
  • degradation
  • calliandra
  • management
  • digestion
  • ryegrass
  • pastures

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