ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 60 Number 1
Research Papers
Nutritive value of the parasitic weed Striga hermontheca
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The present study suggests that domestic animals may be one of the chief agents of Striga dissemination in the Sudan. The period of incubation in rumen liquor appeared to have a significant effect on seed germination and viability. A significant reduction in germination capacity of Striga seeds amounting to ? 14% and 20% below the control occurred after 1 or 2 days incubation in vivo. Reductions of 8, 37 or 76% below the control after 1, 2 or 4 days incubation in vitro were measured. Not all Striga strains were adversely affected by incubation in rumen liquor. Medani strain germination was stimulated by ? 11 and 33% above the control after 1 or 2 days incubation in vivo. Complete loss of seed viability was achieved when Striga seeds were left for more than 2 days in the rumen liquor. Proximate analysis of Striga showed that the weed was a high protein (21.6%) and relatively low crude fibre content (20.3%). The apparent digestibility of dry matter (47.0) and nutritive value (TDN (total digestible nutrients), 41.4; DCP (digestible crude protein), 6.9) indicate that Striga could be classified as a medium quality roughage. The high ammonia-N concentration in the rumen determined 3 h after feeding suggests that a large proportion of Striga N is not utilized for useful purposes. It was concluded that Striga has a potential use as a source of feed in semi-arid regions in view of its availability at times of shortage of conventional feedstuffs.
Keywords: Striga hermontheca; Seeds;