The influence of frequency of cutting on the yield, chemical composition, digestibility and nutritive value of some grass species

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    Five species of indigenous grasses, namely Cloris gayana, Setaria Lindenbergiana, Cencrus Ciliaris, Digitaria Pentzii Pretoria small, and Panicum Maximum, were established each in five replications on 25 plots, each measuring (24 x 17) square feet, in a Latin Square arrangement. Each plot was again subdivided into five equal portions and a different treatment allocated at random to each subplot within a main plot. The effective cutting area of a subplot measured (22 x 3) square feet. The experiment covered two growing seasons and various treatments were applied. The objects of the investigation were to study the effect of the treatments on the yield, chemical composition, digestibility and the nutritive value of the grasses under natural conditions of soil and climate. To test the digestibility the produce obtained under any one cutting treatment for all the species was combined as a single sample. Three adult Merino wethers were employed and the hay samples were tested in nine successive periods. Since the results obtained with the grass species studied on the particular type of soil and under the climatic conditions obtaining during the two seasons of the investigation may not be taken to apply generally, it is not possible to lay down clear directions for the practical man. Nevertheless from a consideration of the evidence of the data obtained in this experiment as a whole it seems to be a warrantable conclusion that a system of cutting grasses at approximately 2-monthly intervals during the growing season for the purpose of providing feed during times of scarcity will result in the most economical utilisation of indigenous grass species under natural conditions.