Effects of fertilizer types and plant spacings on plant morphology, biomass yield and chemical com position of Brachiaria Hybrid Mulato II grass grown in lowlands of northwest Ethiopia

Negasu Getu Yibarkew, Yeshambel Chekol Mekuriaw, Bimrew Limnih Asmare


This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of fertilizer types and plant spacings on plant morphology, biomass yield and chemical composition of brachiaria hybrid mulato II grass grown using irrigation in lowlands of northwest Ethiopia. The experimental design used was a 3×3 factorial layout in a randomized complete block design with three replications giving a total of 27 plots, each measuring 2×2 m2. The plant spacings were 15, 30 and 45cm between plants and fertilizer types were commercial fertilizer (NPS), cattle manure and control (without fertilizer). Morphological parameters such as plant height (PH), leaf length per plant (LLPP), number of leaves per plant (NLPP), number of tillers per plant (NTPP), leaf to stem ratio( LSR), number of roots per plant (NRPP),root length per plant (RLPP), root circumference(RC), leaf area index (LAI), biomass yield and chemical composition were collected. All the data were subjected to GLM ANOVA following the procedures of SAS. Most of the morphological parameters were significantly (P<0.05) affected by fertilizer and plant spacings. Similarly, significant (P<0.05) differences were observed in most of chemical composition of the grass by fertilizer type; but not by plant spacing except for DM and CP. In it can be concluded that fertilizer types had significant contribution on the brachiaria grass morphology and chemical composition grown in the lowland area of Ethiopia. The commercial fertilizer (NPS) fertilizer is recommendable for brachiaria hybrid grass production if it is accessible by smallholder farmers; otherwise, the use of manure could be the next option in the study area and in similar environments. 

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