ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 75 Number 4
Research Papers
Comparative yield and nutritive value of forages from two cereal-legume based cropping systems. 1. Crop yields and the nutritive value of forages. (409)
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The effects of two cropping systems (1 and 2) on grain and fodder yields and nutritive quality of the fodder were studied in a randomized complete block design experiment over a period of two cropping years. Crops and crop combinations in system 1 were oat-vetch, wheat-trifolium, teff straw, and cowpea. System 2 was similar to system 1 except that maize-lablab replaced wheat-trifolium. Neither grain yields nor yields of straws or hays were affected by intercropping. Grain and straw yields were about 25% higher than yields reported for smallholder systems. Using the standard measures of quality such as crude protein, neutral-detergent fibre, and aciddetergent lignin, the presence of legumes in crop mixtures improved forage quality resulting in higher degradation characteristics than would be expected from cereals alone.
Keywords: Cropping systems; Grain yield; Forage yield; Nutritive quality; Dry matter degradability