ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 60 Number 1
Nutritive value of the parasitic weed Striga hermontheca
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;