Comparative performance of cenchrus-legumes mixtures as understorey in Acacia leucophloea for silvipasture. (232)
Keywords:Forage species, Cenchrus, Silvipasture, Acacia leucophloea
AbstractA silvipastoral experiment was conducted for six years to evaluate the performance of seven forage species (Cenchrus ciliaris, Clitoria ternata, Desmanthus virgatus, Sorghum vulgare, Stylosanthes hamata, S. scabra, and Vigna unguiculata) as under-storey in Acacia leucophloea, a multipurpose tree species, at the National Pulses Research Centre, Vamban, India. The tree species was raised at an espacement of 4 m x 4 m and the forage crops were sown in between trees during the rainy season every year and the fodder yield recorded. It was observed that loss of forage yield was strongly influenced by the tree component. The loss in forage yield as a result of tree growth increased from the fourth year. Thus, the yield of all forage species increased up to the third year. Among the forage combinations, the relative performance was in the order of Cenchrus ciliaris > cenchrus + sorghum > cenchrus + cowpea > other species. It was concluded from the study that for higher biomass yields, the best combination is A. leucophloea with cenchrus.