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Original Article

Effects of Sudan Grass Cultivars and Cutting Frequency on Forage Yield and Quality Traits at the Central Gondar Zone, Ethiopia



An experiment was conducted to study the forage yield and qualitative traits of different cultivars of Sudan grass with different days of harvest. Five improved Sudan grass cultivars (DRLME, Mezrut, Wichello, Michello and Aden) and three harvest schedules (40, 50 and 60 day’s interval) were combined and used for the study. Randomized complete block design (RCBD) experiment design was used in factorial arrangement. Plant height (cm), number of tillers per plant (NT), fresh biomass yield (t ha-1), dry matter percentage, dry matter yield (t ha-1), leaf to stem ratio (LSR), total crude protein produced (t ha-1) and chemical composition including dry matter (DM), ash, organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) of the grass were recorded. The results revealed that the maximum plant height was obtained in DRLME and Aden Sudan grass cultivars. Maximum number of tillers per plant of Sudan grass was recorded for Wichello and Mezrut cultivars. Significant amount of green biomass yield (t ha-1) was attained by Mezrut closely followed by DRLME. Wichello and Michello recorded relatively higher dry matter percentage compared with other cultivars. DRLME and Michello produced maximum forge dry matter yield (t ha-1) in two years combined mean. Cultivar Mezrut, Michello and Wichello were found efficient in producing total crude protein production (t ha-1). Higher ash content was obtained in Mezrut. Relatively higher crude protein percentage was attained in Mezrut parallel with Wichello, Michello and Aden. Therefore, based on the study results, total crude protein production per hectare taking as an ultimate objective of forage production for the study areas Mezrut, Wichello and Michello were found more efficient. Sixty days interval cutting was also better in total crude protein production per hectare and should be considered in further Sudan grass production.