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Original Article

Forage Yield and Quality Traits of Brachiaria spp. Grass Species at Central Gondar Zone, Ethiopia



The experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of various Brachiaria grass species. The study compared 10 Brachiaria grass species over 2019 and 2020 years. The experiment was laid down in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications. To assess their potential, plant height, tiller number, leaves number per plant, leaf length, forage fresh yield, forage Dry Matter (DM) yield, Leaf to Stem Ratio (LSR), Organic Matter (OM) ash, Crude Protein (CP), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and Acid Detergent Lignin (ADL) and CP yield were collected. Data were analysed of variance, and when the difference was significant, the treatment means were compared by the LSD at 5%. Result showed significant differences between Brachiaria species/accessions for forage yield, all quality and morphological traits except tiller number. The finding revealed that as. B. mutica had significantly (P<0.05) higher mean values for plant height, leaves number per plant and leaves length, fresh and dry biomass yield than other species. Species B. brizantha wild. Acc no 13726 had significantly higher man value for LSR (8.70) (P<0.05). The observed fluctuation in biomass yield in different cuts indicated the need for fertilizer application at minimal at a point where lower biomass yield was recorded. The higher forage production with average values of 11.31 and 11.77 t h-1) was obtained in species Brachiaria mutica at cut 1 and 3, respectively that was significantly higher than other cuts (P<0.05). Relatively higher mean values of OM% (ranged 82.22 to 84.39%) were achieved with species B. brizantha wild. Acc no 13726 and Acc no 13755 and Brachiaria mutica. The highest ash contents (ranged from 11.96 to 13.60%) were also obtained in Brachiaria hybrid Mulato I, II, B. brizantha Marandu Acc no. 16550, Brachiaria hybrid Mulato and Brachiaria decumbens. Remarkable CP% (10.85%) was attained at B. mutica. For all Brachiaria grass species, fiber fractions were below the threshold. B. mutica was found efficient in CP yield (3.65 t h-1). Total CP yield with less fiber content per hectare taking as an ultimate objective of forage production species B. mutica was found the most suitable for presenting feed of better quality.


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