Theme 2: Forage--Oral Sessions

Description

The availability of high quality forage especially during the dry season remains a major challenge to ruminant livestock production in Nigeria and many parts of West Africa. Due to the prevailing mismatch between livestock population and supply of feed resources in the arid and semi arid Nigeria, the humid forest zone represents a potential source for crop residues, especially during the dry season due to longer rainfall duration and suitable climate. This study was conducted to evaluate forage yield and nutritive quality of haulm from selected dual purpose cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) cultivars in the humid rain forest zone of Nigeria. The forage and pod yields of twenty cultivars were evaluated in two cropping seasons of 2012 and 2013, in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Subsequently, five dual-purpose cultivars were selected based on forage and pod yields from previous trial, for determination of chemical and fibre compositions. The results revealed significant (p < 0.05) differences in pod and forage yields among the twenty cowpea cultivars, with mean yields ranging from 0-1.5 t ha-1 and 0.1-4.5 t ha-1 for pod and forage respectively. The results also showed significant (p < 0.05) differences in crude protein, ether extract, and non-fibre carbohydrates (NFC) contents amongst the five selected cultivars. The selected cultivars are recommended as dual-purpose cowpea for the zone. The result reveal wide implications for commercial production, processing and packaging of cowpea and other related forage crops for sale in Northern Nigeria where demand for dry season feedstuff outstrips supply. In addition, availability of feedstuff during the dry season is capable of promoting sedentarization of nomadic pastoralists and the attendant conflict associated with that system of livestock management.

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Forage Yield and Nutritive Quality of Haulm from Dual-Purpose Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L Walp) Cultivars for Dry Season Feeding in Nigeria

The availability of high quality forage especially during the dry season remains a major challenge to ruminant livestock production in Nigeria and many parts of West Africa. Due to the prevailing mismatch between livestock population and supply of feed resources in the arid and semi arid Nigeria, the humid forest zone represents a potential source for crop residues, especially during the dry season due to longer rainfall duration and suitable climate. This study was conducted to evaluate forage yield and nutritive quality of haulm from selected dual purpose cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) cultivars in the humid rain forest zone of Nigeria. The forage and pod yields of twenty cultivars were evaluated in two cropping seasons of 2012 and 2013, in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Subsequently, five dual-purpose cultivars were selected based on forage and pod yields from previous trial, for determination of chemical and fibre compositions. The results revealed significant (p < 0.05) differences in pod and forage yields among the twenty cowpea cultivars, with mean yields ranging from 0-1.5 t ha-1 and 0.1-4.5 t ha-1 for pod and forage respectively. The results also showed significant (p < 0.05) differences in crude protein, ether extract, and non-fibre carbohydrates (NFC) contents amongst the five selected cultivars. The selected cultivars are recommended as dual-purpose cowpea for the zone. The result reveal wide implications for commercial production, processing and packaging of cowpea and other related forage crops for sale in Northern Nigeria where demand for dry season feedstuff outstrips supply. In addition, availability of feedstuff during the dry season is capable of promoting sedentarization of nomadic pastoralists and the attendant conflict associated with that system of livestock management.