Effect of different spacing of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) intercropped with or without Lablab (Lablab purpureus) on biomass yield and nutritional value of Napier grass
Keywords:Chemical composition, Digestibility, LabLab, Napier grass, Yield
This study was conducted with an objective of determining effect of three spacing of Napier grass intercropped with or without Lablab (Lablab purpureus) on the biomass yield and nutritive value of Napier grass forage in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement in RCBD with 4 blocks. Spacing was 1m x 0.5m, 0.75m x 0.5m, and 0.5m x 0.5m. Intercropping decreased the electro conductivity but increased the available phosphorous content of the soil and did not affect the pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen of the soil. Spacing, intercropping and their interaction had no significant effect (P>0.05) on dry matter (DM) yield (DMY) and crude protein (CP) yield (CPY) of the Napier grass. Intercropping and interaction of intercropping with spacing resulted to higher total DMY and CPY (P<0.05). The chemical composition of Napier grass was unaffected by spacing and interaction of intercropping with spacing. Intercropping of Napier grass with lablab however, increased the DM contents (P<0.05) of the Napier grass and decreased the ash contents. In conclusion, intercropping with lablab had a positive influence on the TDMY, TCPY, DM, hence increase the total forage yield and nutritive value of Napier grass. Conversely, spacing failed to have significant impact on these parameters. As such 1 m x 0.5m spacing and intercropping with lablab can be of a better choice based on the results of this study.
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