THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND NUTRITIVE VALUES OF SIX TYPES OF NAPIER AT DIFFERENT CUTTING AGE

H. Haryani1*, F. Norfadzrin1, A. Aswanimiyuni1, S. A. Syed Hussein2, M. A. Abu Hassan2, A. Azman1

H. Haryani1*, F. Norfadzrin1, A. Aswanimiyuni1, S. A. Syed Hussein2, M. A. Abu Hassan2, A. Azman1

Forages continue to represent the single most important feed resource for livestock in developed and developing countries. Selecting forage species for cultivation must take into consideration the yield, digestibility and nutrient composition (1). Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) has been the most promising and high yielding fodder giving dry matter yields of 85.4 tons/hectare without fertilizer application and high yield of 130 tons/hectare with 1320 kg/ha of nitrogen fertilizer application have been recorded (2). Herbage yield of Napier grass may be affected by the harvesting day after planting. Generally, as grass ages, herbage yield is increased due to the rapid increase in the tissues of the plant (3). Napier grass can produce more dry matter per unit area than any other crop (4). It can be intercropped with legumes and fodder trees, or as a pure stand. The tender young leaves and stem is highly palatable to livestock. The recommended age to harvest Napier is at 5 to 6 week (5).