An evaluation of nitrogen fertilised Panicum maximum cv. Gatton at different stages of maturity during autumn: 1. Dry matter yie

Author: A. Taute, W.A. van Niekerk, N.F.G. Rethman and R.J. Coertze
Year: 2002
Issue: 3
Volume: 32
Page: 208 - 216

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of level of nitrogen (N) fertilisation and stage of maturity on certain qualitative parameters and dry matter (DM) production of Panicum maximum cv. Gatton during autumn. Treatments included seven levels of N fertilisation (0, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150 kg N/ha) and harvesting at three stages of maturity, namely the vegetative, early and full bloom stages. Nitrogen was applied in late summer. Dry matter yields were determined at each stage of harvesting. Dry matter yield, N, nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) concentrations increased, while total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) concentrations decreased with increasing levels of N application. There was no significant change in in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD). As the pasture matured from the vegetative to the full bloom stage, N, NO3-N and IVDOM concentrations decreased, while DM yield, TNC, NDF and ADL concentrations increased.

Keywords: : Panicum maximum, nutrition, quality, ruminant, sheep
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