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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


KOLLET, José Luiz; DIOGO, José Mauro da Silva  and  LEITE, Gilberto Gonçalves. Forage yield and chemical composition of pearl millet varieties (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. BR.). R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.4, pp.1308-1315. ISSN 1516-3598.

The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the productivity, tillering, leaf blade/stem ratio and chemical composition (CP, NDF and ADF) of three pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. BR.) varieties (African, American and BN-2) submitted to three different cutting ages (35, 42 and 49 days). During the first growth period, a split-plot arrangement in a complete randomized block design was used with varieties being the main plots and cutting ages the subplots. During regrowth, a complete randomized design was used. In both cases, there were four replications per treatment. Dry matter yield among varieties was similar (4,360, 4,204, and 3,247 kg/DM/ha) for the varieties African, American and BN-2, respectively. The CP (15.36, 16.71, and 16.3%), NDF (60.55, 56.29, and 55.93%) and ADF (34.55, 30.04, and 30.98%) concentrations as well as the leaf blade/stem percentages differed among African, American and BN-2 varieties, respectively. Dry matter productivity, NDF, and ADF concentrations increased with the advance of cutting age while leaf blade/stem ratio and CP decreased linearly. Productivity was reduced during regrowth, however, the average CP (19.75, 20.21, and 20.43%), NDF (52.45, 53.19, and 53.42%) and ADF (27.44, 26.72, and 27.06%) concentrations did not differ among African, American and BN-2 varieties during this period, respectively. The leaf blade/stem ratio, however, differed among them during regrowth. Forage nutritive value at regrowth was greater than during first growth period. American and BN-2 varieties presented the highest leaf blade percentage while the African variety showed the highest stem percentage. Thus, the best forage varieties are American and BN-2 and the best cutting age is 49 days.

Keywords : cutting age; crude protein; leaf blade NDF; regrowth; stem.

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