Article abstract

Journal of Agricultural and Crop Research

Research Article | Published October 2017 | Volume 5, Issue 4, pp. 49-65


Agronomic performance, dry matter yield stability and herbage quality of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum (L.) Schumach) accessions in different agro-ecological zones of Ethiopia




Gezahagn Kebede1*

Fekede Feyissa1

Getnet Assefa2

Mengistu Alemayehu2

Alemayehu Mengistu3

Aemiro Kehaliew1

Kassahun Melese4

Solomon Mengistu1

Estifanos Tadesse5

Shewangizaw Wolde6

Mergia Abera7


Email Author


1.     Holetta Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 31, Holetta, Ethiopia.

2.    Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P. O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

3.    Forage and Rangeland Scientist, Urael Branch, P. O. Box 62291, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

4.    D/zeit Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 32, D/zeit, Ethiopia.

5.    Adamitulu Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 35, Adamitulu, Ethiopia.

6.    Areka Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 79, Areka, Ethiopia.

7.    Hawassa Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 6, Hawassa, Ethiopia.


Citation: Kebede G, Feyissa F, Assefa G, Alemayehu M, Mengistu A, Kehaliew A, Melese K, Mengistu S, Tadesse E, Wolde S and Abera M (2017). Agronomic performance, dry matter yield stability and herbage quality of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum (L.) Schumach) accessions in different agro-ecological zones of Ethiopia. J. Agric. Crop Res. 5(4): 49-65.



Ten Napier grass accessions were evaluated for agronomic performance, dry matter (DM) yield stability and nutritional attributes at Holetta, Debre zeit, Adamitulu, Areka and Hawassa agricultural research centers during the main cropping seasons of 2011 to 2014. The experiment was conducted in randomized complete block design with three replications. At planting, diammonium phosphate (DAP) at the rate of 100 kg/ha was uniformly applied and additionally urea at the rate of 50 kg/ha was top dressed after forage harvesting. Combined analysis of variance indicated that the tested genotypes varied significantly (P < 0.05) for plant height and forage DM yield. However, the test environments displayed significant variations for all measured agronomic and quality traits except the crude protein (CP) content. The genotype by environment (G × E) interaction effects also reveled significant differences for plant height, DM yield, ash content, CP yield, digestible yield and hemicelluloses content. Of the total variance of DM yield, environment main effect accounted for 40.6%, whereas genotype and G × E interaction effects accounted for 14.8% and 38.8% respectively. The highest mean DM yield was recorded at Adamitulu (13.06 t/ha) followed by Areka (12.80 t/ha), Hawassa (11.80 t/ha), Debre zeit (10.50 t/ha) and Holetta (7.05 t/ha). Different stability parameters and models indicated that Napier grass accessions such as 16817, 16783 and local were the most stable while accessions such as 16791 and 16815 were the most unstable genotypes across the tested environments. The CP and in-vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) were higher in the highlands while CP yield, digestible yield and most fiber components were relatively higher in the mid altitude areas indicating that temperature and amount of rainfall and its distribution had an adverse affect on the feed quality of Napier grass. Generally, Napier grass accessions such as 16817, 16783 and local are recommended for wider cultivation due to better DM yield stability performance across the test environments.

Keywords  accessions   agronomic performance   napier grass   nutritive values   yield stability  






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