FIELD STUDIES ON SEED PRODUCTION IN THREE TROPICAL PASTURE GRASSES AT SHIKA, NIGERIA

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FIELD STUDIES ON SEED PRODUCTION IN THREE TROPICAL PASTURE GRASSES AT SHIKA, NIGERIA

Abstract:

The effects of row spacings on Biloela buffel grass and fertilizer nitrogen on Biloela buffel grass, gatton panic and green panic grown for seed production, were studied for three years at the National Animal Production Research Institute, Shika, Nigeria. The row spacing and one of the two nitrogen trials were carried out under rain-fed conditions on the upland. The remaining nitrogen trial was under limited irrigation on the ‘fadama’ (lowland). Row spacing involved, broadcast and 30, 60 and 90 cm while the nitrogen treatments were 0, 100, 200 and 400 kgN/ha on the fadama, and 0, 200, 400 and 600 kgN/ha on the upland. Successive method of seed harvesting by hand was used. Row spacing had lower shoot density but higher shoot fertility than the broadcast treatment. Shoot densities increased almost linearly with decrease in row widths; narrowing row widths from 90 to 30 cm, more than doubled the shoot density. Shoot fertility, number of seeds per inflorescence and seed size increased with wider row spacings, while inflorescence density seed yield, harvest efficiency and dry matter yield decreased. Total clean seed yields from two harvests were 895.8, 943.0, 777.2 and 488.7 kg/ha for the broadcast, 30, 60 and 90 cm spacings respectively. Nitrogen application increased shoot density and fertility, inflorescence density number of seeds per inflorescence, seed size, caryopsis content, seed yield and dry matter yields of the three species at both sites, but the nitrogen effects were generally more pronounced for the fadama crops. The positive effect of nitrogen on shoot and inflorescence densities was probably amplified by the successive method of seed harvesting. In this method, only the ripe heads are removed at each harvest occasion. The cutting of the heads appeared to stimulate the development of more of reproductive shoots. The fadama crops apparently benefited more from this method of seed harvesting than the upland crops. High seed yields were recorded at the fadama site. Harvested seed yields varied from 558 kg/ha at N0 to 1000.00 kg/ha at N200 for buffel grass, with corresponding ranges of 439.2 to 927.2 kg/ha for green panic at the fadama site. In the case of gatton panic the range was 516.8 kg/ha at N0 to 1069.8 kg/ha at N 4 0 0 . On the upland, seed yields varied from 313.8, 234.2 and 283.6 kg/ha for buffel grass, gatton panic and green panic, respectively at N0 to the corresponding figures of 570.6, 663.6 and 777.4 kg/ha at N600. The fadama crops had higher crop indices and efficiencies of seed yield response to applied nitrogen than the upland crops. Crops at both sites had high harvest efficiencies. Simple correlation matrix for seed yield attributes showed that inflorescence density and shoot fertility were the main determinants of potential seed yield

FIELD STUDIES ON SEED PRODUCTION IN THREE TROPICAL PASTURE GRASSES AT SHIKA, NIGERIA

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