Growth characteristics, biomass yield and mineral concentrations in seven varieties of Napier grass (Cenchrus purpureus) at establishment in Kelantan, Malaysia

Mohammad Mijanur Rahman, Nurul Eizaty Syafieqa, Nurul Aliah Binti Mohd Diah, Takahiro Gondo, Raja Ili Arina Binti Raja Khalif, Ryo Akashi


Growth characteristics, biomass yield and mineral concentrations were evaluated in a completely randomized design study of 7 Napier grass varieties. Data on tiller number per plant, plant height, leaf length, leaf width, stem diameter, leaf:stem ratio and dry matter (DM) yield, as well as concentrations of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and iron, were obtained at 2 months growth. The growth characteristics, DM yields and mineral concentrations (except phosphorus) varied significantly (P<0.01) among varieties. The variety Indian was tallest (221 cm) and produced the highest DM yield (6.3 t/ha), whereas Dwarf had the highest tiller number and leaf:stem ratio. Purple had the longest and Taiwan and Indian the widest leaves. Kobe, Pakchong and Purple had the greatest stem diameter. Concentrations of Ca, K and Na were greatest in Zanzibar, while Dwarf had the highest concentrations of N, Zn, Mn and Fe. Studies beyond the establishment phase over a range of seasons and in a range of environments at different ages of harvest are needed to confirm the merits of different Napier grass varieties in the study zone.

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