Effect of length and girth of vegetative planting material upon forage yield and quality of Gliricidia sepium
Keywords:Gliricidia, Vegetative propagation, Forage, Yield, Quality
AbstractThe effects of length and girth of vegetative planting material on dry matter yield and nutritive value of gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) were studied. Plots of gliricidia established from cuttings of three different girths (5, 10 and 15 cm) and four lengths (25, 50, 75 and 100 cm) were harvested every eight weeks over 48 weeks. A randomized complete block design with four replications was used. The dry matter yield of gliricidia increased with increasing length and girth of cuttings. Total dry matter yield of 2.90, 4.04, 5.42 and 6.31 t ha-1 was produced from cuttings 25, 50, 75 and 100 cm long, respectively. The dry matter yield produced from cuttings of 5, 10 and 15 cm girth were 2.98, 5.46 and 5.46 t ha-1, respectively. The chemical composition and in vitro dry matter digestibility were not significantly affected by the length or girth of vegetative planting material. The mean crude protein, Ca, P, Mg and K contents of gliricidia were 24.6, 1.89, 0.21, 0.32 and 2.71 %, respectively. It is suggested that gliricidia be propagated from cuttings 100 cm long and not more than 10 cm in girth to ease establishment, reduce labour and produce optimum digestible crude protein.