EFFECT OF FERTILIZER RATES ON FORAGE YIELD AND QUALITY OF (BRACHIARIA RUZIZIENSIS)

Authors

  • Ahmed, S. A. National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Amodu., J. T National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Abdu, S. B. Department of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria
  • Ishiaku, Y. M. National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Abubakar, S. A National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Ibrahim, H. National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Lasisi, O. T. National Animal Production Research Institute, P.M.B 1096, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Usman, A. Federal University Gashua,Yobe State, Nigeria
  • Salisu, S. G. Federal Colledge of Horticulture Dadin-kowa,Gombe State, Nigeria

Keywords:

Brachiaria ruziziensis, fertilizer rates, forage, yield, quality, minerals INTRODUCTION

Abstract

The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of varying fertilizer levels (Compound fertilizer NPK 15:15:15) on the forage yield and nutritional quality of Brachiaria ruziziensis, in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. The experiment was laid in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in a 4x3 factorial arrangements comprising of four fertilizer doses (0, 20, 40 and 60 kg/ha) replicated three times and harvested at 10,12 and 14weeks. The growth components showed that plant height (74.9 cm) and leave length (33.3 cm) were significantly (P<0.05) higher at 60kg/ha and 40kg/ha, respectively. Number of tillers (23) were significantly higher (P<0.05) at 12 weeks after sowing (WAS). Varying levels of fertilizer significantly (P<0.05) affected fresh forage yield with the highest value recorded at 60kg/ha (15.8t/ha). Age of cutting also had significant (P<0.05) effect on yield fresh forage yield and dry matter yield. The highest significantly fresh weight yield (16.3t/ha) was recorded at 12 weeks after sowing (WAS), while and dry weight (4.3t/ha) was also recorded at 14 weeks after sowing (WAS) respectively. The proximate Compositions: Crude protein, Crude fiber and Nitrogen free extract were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the varying level of fertilizer, whereas DM, C.P, C.F, E.E, and NFE were also significantly (P<0.05) affected with different age of cutting. The highest DM (94.3%), CP (8.99%) and CF (39.39%) were recorded at 10, 12 and 12 weeks after sowing (WAS), respectively. EE (7.88%) and Ash (7.67%) were higher at 12 weeks after sowing. Calcium content of the forage material and Calcium (Ca): Phosphorus (P) ratio were significantly (P<0.05) affected as the level of fertilizer application varies with 60kg/ha rate recording the highest percentage (1.62%) and (6.23:1) respectively. Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P) and Ca: P ratio were similar (P>0.05) at different cutting intervals. It can be concluded from the result of this study that the use of NPK 15:15:15 compound fertilizer at 60 kg/ha on Brachiaria ruziziensis gave a better forage yield, Crude protein was higher when harvested at 12 weeks after sowing, mineral composition (Ca and P) was also optimum. Therefore, 60 kg/ha is recommended on Brachiaria ruziziensis for forage yield and nutrient composition for smallholder farmers and livestock owners in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.

Published

2018-12-30