Registration of New Napier Grass Varieties: Zehone-02 and Zehone-03
Background: Napier grass is a pioneer perennial forage crop and performs well in diverse environments. It produces a high biomass yield and could be also categorized as high-quality forage, which is highly palatable when young and leafy.
Objective: To register and release high yielding, stable, and disease tolerant Napier grass varieties.
Materials and Methods: Ten Napier grass varieties including a standard check (ILRI-16984) were tested for forage dry matter yield, herbage quality, pest and disease reaction, and other agro-morphological characteristics across three locations (Holetta, Debrezeit, and Hawassa Agricultural Research Centers) during the main cropping seasons of 2011â€“2014. Based on the overall performance, three superior varieties (16791, 15743, and 16819) were selected and verified with the standard check at Holetta, Kulumsa, and Wondo-genet Agricultural Research Centers during the main cropping season of 2016.
Results: The results indicated that the candidate varieties had significant forage dry matter yields, crude protein contents, and digestible yields advantages over the standard check. Among the varieties, Zehone-02 (16791) had the highest advantages of forage dry matter yield, crude protein content, and digestible yield over the standard check and other candidate varieties. Moreover, the candidate varieties had advantages of leaf to stem ratio, crude protein content, and in vitro organic matter digestibility over the standard check. Based on the criteria of the Eberhart and Russell regression model, Zehone-02 (16791) and Zehone-03 (16819) varieties had better mean forage dry matter yield but less stable when compared to the standard check.
Conclusions: Among the tested candidate varieties, Zehone-02 (16791) variety was released for its better forage dry matter yield, while Zehone-03 (16819) variety for its thin-stemmed nature stature. Therefore, both Napier grass varieties (Zehone-02 and Zehone-03) were released in 2017 for production in the mid and high altitude areas and similar agro-ecologies in the country.
Copyright (c) 2021 Gezahagn Kebede, Fekede Feyissa, Getnet Assefa, Muluneh Minta, Mamaru Tesfaye, Solomon Mengistu, Aschalew Tsegahun, Yibrah Yacob, Tekalign Yirgu, Mezgeb Workiye
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