Herbage yield and quality of Megathyrsus cultivars in Northeast Thailand

Michael D. Hare


A field trial in Northeast Thailand during 2015‒2018 evaluated the forage accumulation and nutritive value of 5 Megathyrsus cultivars, Mombasa, Tanzania, Massai, Zuri and Mun River. Mombasa and Tanzania are commonly grown in Thailand, but Massai, Zuri and Mun River had not been evaluated in Thailand before. Overall accumulated DM yields for the various cultivars over the 3 years were 24,550 kg/ha for Tanzania, 30,900 kg/ha for Massai, 32,700 kg/ha for Mombasa, 35,600 kg/ha for Mun River and 35,700 kg/ha for Zuri. Over 3 wet seasons, Mun River and Zuri accumulated 49% more total DM and Mombasa 35% more total DM than Tanzania. Massai accumulated lower total DM yields than Zuri and Mun River in the second and third wet seasons, similar yields to Mombasa, and higher yields than Tanzania in those 2 seasons. Crude protein concentrations in forage were higher in the dry season than in the wet season and in leaves than in stems. There were no consistent differences in CP% of the various cultivars in wet or dry seasons. ADF and NDF concentrations in the dry season were lower than those in the wet season and leaf ADF and NDF concentrations were lower than concentrations in stems. There were no consistent differences of ADF and NDF concentrations between cultivars throughout the study. This trial showed that both Zuri and Mun River would be ideal replacements for Mombasa and Tanzania in Northeast Thailand, as they would appeal to smallholder farmers for cut-and-carry forage with their upright, broad leaves, and at least similar DM production to Mombasa and superior DM production to Tanzania.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(8)187-194


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