Dry matter yields and quality parameters of ten Napier grass (<i>Cenchrus purpureus</i>) genotypes at three locations in western Oromia, Ethiopia
Ten Napier grass genotypes (accessions) were assessed across 3 locations, Bako, Boneya Boshe and Gute, for forage dry matter (DM) yield, crude protein (CP) concentration, leaf:stem ratio, nutrient composition and digestibility characteristics during 2016 and 2017. The genotypes were evaluated in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Mean DM yield was higher for accession ILRI 16804 across all locations followed by ILRI 16801 and ILRI 16800. Leaf:stem ratio, CP concentration and CP and digestible organic matter (OM) yields also varied significantly among genotypes with the highest values obtained for accession ILRI 16804 across all locations, followed by ILRI 16800 and ILRI 16801. Yields of DM, CP and digestible OM and leaf:stem ratio were higher at Boneya Boshe and Gute than at Bako and higher during 2017 than during 2016. The consistently superior performance of ILRI 16804, ILRI 16801 and ILRI 16800 in both years across the 3 sites suggests that these genotypes should be studied further on farms and in differing environments before being recommended for general cultivation in this area. Examining performance with more frequent harvests and feeding studies with livestock would confirm the benefits to be obtained from planting these new accessions.