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Use of Legume in the Improvement of Silage Quality of Columbus Grass (Sorghum almum Parodi)

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Abstract:

An experiment was conducted to determine the species of legume that is compatible with Columbus grass for ensilage and to establish the optimum proportion of legume inclusion for better silage preparation. Field grown Columbus grass (Sorghum almum Parodi) was sampled at soft dough stage and fortified with legumes forage from Centurion (Centrocema pascourum L.); Lablab bean (Lablab purpureum (L.) and Groundnut (Arachis hypogea L). The treatments were 100% Columbus grass; 80% Columbus grass plus 20% groundnut; 60% Columbus grass plus 40% groundnut; 80% Columbus grass plus 20% Lablab; 60% Columbus grass plus 40% Lablab; 80% Columbus grass plus 20% Centurion and 60% Columbus grass plus 40% Centurion. Each of the treatment combination was ensilage using in vitro silos, kept at room temperature of 26 C for 21days incubation period. Thereafter, pH and proximate composition were examined. The results obtained showed the compounded silages were good and moderately acidic with pH varying from 5.33-5.77. Higher acidic value was obtained from silage prepared of 60% Columbus grass plus 40% groundnut. Dry matter as fed varied significantly (p<0.05) from 308.0-508.0 g kg 1 succulent silage. Significantly higher (p<0.05) dry matter as fed was observed from treatments that had 60% Columbus grass plus 40% Lablab. Significantly higher CP was obtained from the inclusion of 40% of lablab. Organic matter content (OM) of the silage vary significantly (p<0.5) from 45.7-69.1%. Ether Extract (EE) varied (p<0.05) from 6.6-19.4% with the higher values obtained from Columbus grass plus 40% lablab. The content of ash obtained showed significant variations (p<0.05) in the composed silages. Higher OM and CF content were obtained from treatments that had 100% Columbus grass.

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