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Original Article

Effects of Cutting Date on Yield, Morphological and Quality Traits of Three Grass Species under Irrigation Conditions in North Mecha District, Ethiopia



This study was aimed to study the effects of cutting interval on yield, morphological and quality traits of three grass species under irrigation conditions in Mecha district, Ethiopia. There were three kinds of grasses namely Para (Brachiaria mutica Stapf.), Napier (Pennisetum purpureum), and Desho (Pennisetum pedicellatum) at three cutting days (60, 90,120). The experimental design was random complete block design with three replications giving a total of nine plots. The grasses were first harvested after 60 days of regrowth; second and third harvests were done after consecutive 30 days of re-growth. Data collected for plant height, tillers number, leaves number per plant and leaf to stem ratio (LSR), dry matter (DM) yield and quality traits as ash content, crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL). All harvested data were laid open to GLM ANOVA procedures of SAS version 9.0. Result showed, harvesting age was significantly affected all the traits except LSR in three grasses. DM yield, plant height, tillers number and the number of leaves per plant ADF, NDF ADL were increased with increasing harvesting age, whereas ash content and CP decreased. It was concluded that Napier grass produces a higher forage yield among the three grasses and longer harvesting days interval result in increased forage DM yield and decrease the CP content in all the studied grasses. At 120 days Napier grass recorded the highest DM yield (16 t/ha). Further research is needed to be conducted over much longer periods to determine to what extent these findings relate to performance over the life of a permanent pasture.