Evaluation of ten perennial forage grasses for biomass and nutritional quality

Mulisa Faji, Gezahagn Kebede, Fekede Feyissa, Kedir Mohammed, Muluneh Minta, Solomon Mengistu, Aschelew Tsegahun

Abstract


A study was carried out to evaluate 10 perennial forage grass accessions from 4 species for herbage dry matter yield and nutritional quality at Holetta Agricultural Research Center. The evaluated grasses species and varieties were one Desho grass (Pennisetum) variety Kulumsa, four Urochloa decumbens (ILRI-14721, ILRI-14720, ILRI-13205 and ILRI-10871), three Urochloa ruziziensis (ILRI-14813, ILRI-14774 and ILRI-13332) and two Setaria sphacelata (ILRI-143 and ILRI-6543) accessions. Plant height and forage dry matter yield were significantly affected by accession over years, during the establishment and production phases. Combined analysis indicated that the tested accessions varied significantly for plant height with the Setaria accessions taller than the other tested species. Combined data analysis revealed that forage dry matter yield significantly varied according to species and Desho grass (variety Kulumsa) was higher in dry matter yield than the other grasses tested. Fiber contents (NDF, ADF and ADL) were significantly influenced by accession. Crude protein yield differed among the accessions and Desho grass had higher crude protein, followed by U. decumbens (accession ILRI-13205), U. decumbens (accession ILRI-14721) and S. sphacelata (accession ILRI-6543). Based on dry matter yield and crude protein U. decumbens (accession ILRI-13205), U. ruziziensis (accession ILRI-13332), S. sphacelata (accession 6543) and Desho grass (var. Kulumsa) are recommended as alternative forage grasses for the study area and similar agro-ecologies. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(9)292-299

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