Evaluation of varieties and hybrids of elephant grass Pennisetum purpureum and Pennisetum purpureum x Pennisetum glaucum for forage production

Martínez, R. O.; González, C.

Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science: 477-488


ISSN/ISBN: 0864-0408
Accession: 070543680

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Abstract With the objective of knowing the productive performance under the climatic conditions of Mayabeque province in the West of Cuba, six varieties of elephant grass, three of Pennisetum purpureum (Morado, king grass, and Cuba CT-169) and three hybrids of Pennisetum purpureum x Pennisetum glaucum (Cuba OM-22, H-1 and H-2). A random block design was used in five plots of 5x5 m2 in a red ferralitic soil. Cuts belonging to dry season were made every 90 days, and those of rainy period were made every 60 days. Fertilization was applied at a rate of 250 kg of N/ha/year in the form of urea. During dry season, irrigation was applied every 15 days with a standard of 250 m3/ha. Production of DM/ha/year was 23.1-35.2 - 35.7 - 34.4 - 38.8 and 14.1 tons of dry matter (DM)/ha/year for Morado, king grass, Cuba CT-169, Cuba OM-22, H-1 and H-2 respectively. Cuba OM-22 showed higher production and leaf proportion (16.6 t/DM/ha and 48.7 %, respectively). Varieties with lower (P<0.005) yield of dry matter (Morado and H-2) had higher percentage of crude protein in the plant, but lower yield of CP/ha/year. Cuba OM-22 maintained a high percentage of CP with high yield of DM. Thermal sum was similar for both seasons and there was no direct relationship between the thermal sum and yields, and the age at cut had an influence on results. Yields were similar for the best studied varieties so there should be a focus on proportion of leaves among them and other qualities.