Effect of altitudes and harvesting stages on agronomic responses and chemical composition of Brachiaria grass cultivars in northwestern Ethiopia

Wubetie Adnew Wassie, Berhanu Tsegay, Asaminew Tassew, Bimrew Asmare




The effects of altitude and harvesting stages on the performance of Brachiaria brizantha (Marandu, and La Libertad) and B. hybrid cv. Mulato II grass were evaluated in Ethiopia. The data collected consisted of plant height (PH), tiller density, number and length of leaves, and dry matter yield. Chemical analysis of forage samples was done for dry matter, ash, crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL). Results indicated that the highest PH was recorded at all sites by La Libertad which was followed by Mulato II and the highest DM yield by Mulato II followed by La Libertad. There was significant difference (P<0.05) in DM yield with increasing harvesting stages in cultivars. Except, ADF and ADL in Mulato II, NDF, ADF and ADL concentrations significantly (P<0.05) increased as harvesting time was delayed. CP content declined with increased harvesting stages. However, highest DMY and CP and lowest NDF and ADF concentrations were recorded by Mulato II. Overall results indicated that Brachiaria cultivars were affected by both harvesting stages and altitudes. In Ethiopia, exceptionally all cultivars had high nutritive value and DM yield by many folds in the highlands than of other countries reported and therefore, could be a potential livestock feed in the country.


Keywords: Dry matter yield, height, La libertad, Marandu, MulatoII, Tiller number

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