A survey to assess the value of the legume chimero (Bouffordia dichotoma syn. Desmodium dichotomum) in mixed farming systems in North and South Wollo Zones, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Hunegnaw Abebe

Abstract


This study was conducted to determine the yields and chemical composition of the legume, chimero (Bouffordia dichotoma syn. Desmodium dichotomum), at its niche in North and South Wollo Zones, Amhara Region, Ethiopia and how it is used by farmers in the region. Dry matter yields of chimero growing as spontaneous intercrop with sorghum in 3 Peasant Associations in each of the 5 sampled districts were determined as was the chemical composition of the forage, based on pooled samples. The average yield of chimero growing as a self-sown legume with sorghum was 4,400 kg DM/ha. Mean chemical composition was 15.4% ash, 22% CP, 31% NDF, 26% ADF and 5.8% ADL, while IVDMD was 61%. Mineral concentrations were: 0.6% Ca, 0.23% P, 1.5% K, 0.78% Mg, 0.01% Na, 0.27% S, 0.16% Fe, 4.4 mg/kg Cu, 45 mg/kg Mn and 12.3 mg/kg Zn. Chimero appears useful as a supplement for feeding to ruminant animals, provided no anti-nutritional factors are present. A self-sown legume that can produce at least 4 t DM/ha with 22% CP when growing with a sorghum crop seems worthy of further investigation. Further studies are needed to assess the impacts on grain and stover yields when chimero is sown with grain crops of sorghum and maize, as well as effects on soil N. The role of this legume in association with grasses warrants investigation. Multi-site evaluation of a range of ecotypes could identify more productive lines.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(8)11-19

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