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Yield and nutritional quality potential of three fodder grasses in the Northern region of Sri Lanka


M. Sarmini ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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S. Premaratne

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S.
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Feeding standards of ruminant livestock could be significantly enhanced through the cultivation of improved quality forages which are suitable for different agroclimatic condition of the country. Therefore, a field experiment was carried out to assess the growth parameters, herbage yield and chemical composition of maize (Zea maize), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) moench), and hybrid Napier (Pennisetum perpureum X Pennisetum americarnum) in the northern region of Sri Lanka. The experiment was conducted during the period of December 2015 to June 2016 with three treatments consisted of maize (variety Pacific 984), sorghum (variety Sugargraze), and hybrid Napier (variety CO-3), each having three replicates under randomized complete block design. Growth parameters were measured at two week intervals up to the 8th week and the crops were harvested at the 10th week after planting for making silage. Among the species, maize was superior (p<0.05) to others in terms of growth, and resulted the highest (p<0.05) fresh matter yield of 52.27 t/ha/cut, with a dry matter yield of 17.11 t/ha/cut, whereas the lowest (p<0.05) crude fiber and dry matter (DM) yield were obtained from CO-3. In terms of chemical composition, sorghum showed the highest (p<0.05) crude protein (CP) (14.37%) and in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) (66.05%) while the lowest (p<0.05) IVDMD and CP were recorded in CO-3 and maize, respectively on DM basis. In addition, the cost of production of maize and sorghum was less than that of CO-3. The results revealed that maize and sorghum performed better than CO-3 in terms of growth, yield, nutrient composition, and cost effectiveness in the northern region of Sri Lanka.

How to Cite:
Published on 23 May 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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