Identification of superior pearl millet by napier hybrids and napiers in Zimbabwe

Gupta, S C and Mhere, O (1997) Identification of superior pearl millet by napier hybrids and napiers in Zimbabwe. African Crop Science Journal, 5 (3). pp. 229-237. ISSN 2072-6589

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During 1988 and 1989, over 200 pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] by napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum) hybrids were developed by SADC/ICRISAT in Zimbabwe to provide superior pearl millet by napier hybrids especially for semi-arid rainfed regions. Eighteen such pearl millet by napier hybrids (SDPN), 20 napiers (SDPP), and two checks, Bana grass (pearl millet x napier hybrid), and Green Gold Harare (Panicum sp.) were evaluated at Aisleby (irrigated) and Lucydale (rainfed) locations during 1990/92. There were six cuttings (over 12 months) at Aisleby, and seven cuttings (over 16 months) at Lucydale. Among pearl millet by napier hybrids, SDPN 29 produced the highest total dry matter (DM) yield over cuttings at both locations. SDPN 29 produced 38 t total DM yield ha-1 (38% more than the best check, Bana grass) at Aisleby, and 12.5 t total DM yield ha-1 at Lucydale (39% more than the best check, Bana grass). Based on green fodder yield, DM yield, crude protein %, and in-vitro DM digestibility, two hybrids, SDPN 3 and SDPN 29 were selected and the cuttings were supplied to several hundred farmers in Zimbabwe. Among napiers, SDPP 19 and SDPP 10 were the highest yielding entries. During the dry period (April to October) at Lucydale, both SDPNs and SDPPs plants continued to grow and some entries produced DM yields of over 600 kg ha-1 per cut. This is the period when the forage is most needed. There were no significant differences for total DM yield over cuttings between highest yielding SDPP and highest yielding SDPN at both locations. The variation in napiers for different traits suggests that the napiers can be improved for forage quality and yield.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elephant grass, napier grass, pearl millet x napier hybrid, Pennisetum sp.
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2011 05:05
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2011 05:05
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Acknowledgement: The authors are grateful to Dr W.W. Hanna of Tifton, Mr P. Mkhatshwa of Swaziland, Mrs Celia Jordao of Mozambique, and ILCA for supplying the cuttings of napier grass accessions.
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