Effect of nps fertilizer and harvesting stage on biomass yield and quality parameters of bracharia grass under supplementary irrigation in Southern Ethiopia
This experiment aimed to evaluate the effect of NPS fertilizer and harvesting stage on biomass yield and quality parameters of Bracharia grass under supplementary irrigation. The study was conducted at Wondogenet Agricultural Research Center in a factorial arrangement of randomized complete block design with three replications using two factors (five NPS fertilizer levels:0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 Kg/ha and four harvesting stages: 45, 60, 75, and 90 days). Data were collected on biomass yield and quality parameters at each harvesting stage, weighed (for yield estimation), dried, and then ground subsamples taken for analysis of crude protein, ash, dry matter (DM), fiber contents, and in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) using a calibrated NIRS (Foss 5000 apparatus and Win ISI II software). The collected data were subjected to a general linear model for a statistical analysis system (SAS). The result indicated that DMY, CPY, DDMY, and ME yields were increased with increasing NPS fertilizer and extended harvesting stages. Crude protein concentration, IVDMD, and IVOMD were increased with increasing NPS fertilizer but decreased with the delayed harvesting stage. The neutral detergent fiber was also increased with the extended harvesting stage but decreased as NPS fertilizer increased. Based on DMY, CPY, and economic feasibility, a combination of 150 Kg/ha NPS fertilizer at 90 days stage could be recommended for the study area and similar agroecology. But, further study is needed on harvesting frequency to confirm the current finding.