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Research Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 55 - 59

Yield, Mineral Content and Nutritive Value of Panicum maximum Cv T58 in the Derived Savanna Zone of Nigeria

F.G. Sodeinde, I.O.A. Adeleye, V.O. Asaolu, S.R. Amao and O.A. Olaniran    

Abstract: Panicum maximum cv T58 was evaluated in the derived savanna zone of Nigeria for its yield and nutritive value when fed to the WAD sheep. The agronomic experiment was a split plot design with fertilizer Nitrogen levels (0, 100, 200 and 400 KgN/ha) as main plots. Each was replicated thrice and cutting intervals (6 and 8 weeks) served as sub plots. Grasses harvested at both the 6th week and 8th week after planting were fed to the 8 WAD sheep in a latin square design for the digestibility trials which lasted 21 days. Feed intake and weight gain of the animals were recorded at the beginning and end of the trails. Animals on the 200 KgN/ha fertilized grasses at 8 weeks gained an average of 2.1 g/day after consuming an average of 1.3 KgDMY per day. They had a CP digestibility of about 89.1%, which was significantly different (p<0.05) from the control that had 79.7% CP digestibility. The animals on the control gained about 0.04 g/day after consuming an average of 0.9 KgDMY/day. Mineral content except for copper increased in significant proportion (p<0.05) as the nitrogen level increased in the soil. The increase in the phosphorus level might be responsible for the higher feed intake recorded for animals on the 200 KgN ha-1 grass plot since it increased the palatability and acceptability level. Proximate analysis of the grass revealed a crude protein value of 6.9, 9.2, 12.8 and 13.1% CP for 0, 100, 200 and 400KgN ha-1 respectively at 8 weeks. The 6-week cutting had 5.5, 7.5, 9.2 and 10.1% crude protein values for the different treatments, respectively.

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