South Asian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 2, No 5 (2012)

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Jul 12
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The extent of plant cover and percentage dry matter of guinea grass (Panicum maximum jacq) pasture as influenced by cutting height and nitrogen fertilization

C. C. Onyeonagu, B. N. Ugwuanyi

Abstract


A 3 x 3 factorial experiment laid out in a randomized complete block design was conducted at Nsukka, Nigeria to determine the effects of cutting height and N fertilizer application on the extent of plant cover and percentage dry matter of Panicum maximum pasture in 2008 and 2009. Treatments comprised three cutting heights of 5, 10 and 15 cm and three levels of nitrogen of 0, 200 and 400 kg N ha‐1 resulting in nine treatment combinations replicated three times. The extent of grass cover in 2008 and 2009 was significantly (P < 0.05) increased by 62 % and 46 %, respectively, when cutting height increased from 5 to 15 cm. Bare ground area was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by 33 % in 2008, when stubble height increased from 5 to 15 cm but was not significantly affected by cutting height in 2009. The extent of weed cover was not significantly influenced by cutting height in both years. Grass cover was significantly (P < 0.05) increased by 36 % in 2008 when nitrogen fertilizer was increased from 0 to 200 kg N ha‐1. Nitrogen application did not significantly affect the weed cover and bare ground area in both years. The dry matter content of grass was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by 11 % and 17 % in 2008 and 2009, respectively, when fertilizer N was increased from 0 to 400 kg N ha‐1.

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