Tropical Grasslands (2001) Volume 35, 48–52

Research note: The performance of forage germplasm in a screening trial at Shika, Nigeria

A.T. OMOKANYE, O.S. ONIFADE, J.T. AMODU and M.S. KALLAH

National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika, Zaria, Nigeria

Abstract

Sixty-one forage species obtained from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were screened to assess their adaptation to the subhumid zone of Nigeria. The control species were: Andropogon gayanus and Chloris gayana (grasses); Stylosanthes hamata (herbaceous legume); and Leucaena leucocephala (browse shrub). The highest mean yields over 3 years occurred in C. gayana ILCA 6627 (grass), S. guianensis ILCA 7285 (herbaceous legume) and Sesbania sesban ILCA 1193 (browse shrub). Among the grasses, A. gayanus (control) largely maintained its greenness during the dry season while Panicum maximum ILCA 144 performed poorly during this period. In the hercaceous legumes, S. guianensis ILCA 7285 and Centrosema macrocarpum ILCA 151 remained green over the dry season. All promising browse species were highly drought-tolerant. The screening confirmed earlier reports on the performance of most Cenchrus and Chloris spp. in the subhumid vegetational zone. Neonotonia spp. and C. macrocarpum ILCA 151 failed to flower during the study period.

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