Wondimagegn AlemKebri Dehar University, Ethiopia
Title: Effects of plant spacing and fertilizer level on forage yield and chemical composition of hybrid Urochloa cv. Mulato II grass during the first 150 days of growth under irrigation supplementation, in Chagni Ranch, Awi Zone, Ethiopia
A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of plant spacing and N fertilizer application on dry matter yield and chemical composition of Urochloa hybrid cv. Mulato II grass for the first 150 days after planting. A factorial experiment with 3 urea fertilizer levels (0, 50 and 100 kg/ha) and 4 spacings between plants and rows (20 × 20, 30 × 40, 40 × 60 and 50 × 80 cm) with 3 replications was used. Data collected were dry matter yield (DMY), leaf:stem ratio and chemical analyses, i.e. crude protein (CP), ash, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) concentrations. Results indicated that DMY, leaf:stem ratio, CP%, NDF% and ADF% were significantly (P<0.05) affected by interactions between plant spacing and fertilizer level. However, ash and ADL were significantly (P<0.05) affected only by main effects. The highest DMYs (9.18 t/ha and 8.93 t/ha) were recorded for narrowest plant spacing (20 × 20 cm) with higher urea fertilizer level (100 kg/ha) and narrowest plant spacing (20 × 20 cm) with medium urea fertilizer level (50 kg/ha), respectively. CP% ranged from 14.6 to 20% and leaf:stem ratio from 1.12 to 1.82:1. Similar studies need to be conducted over longer periods to determine to what extent these findings relate to performance over the life of a permanent pasture.