Invasive Species Compendium

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Assessment of promising exotic forage grasses at Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Abstract

Present study assessed the suitability of six exotic grasses to local climate and evaluated their forage production and nutritional value grown at forage grass nursery, Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad Pakistan during 2006-2007. Grass species included; Green Panic cv. Tanzania (Panicum maximum), Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbents), Finger grass (Digitaria swazilandensis), Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) and Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) and were tested by applying randomized complete block design (RCBD). Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) got the highest sprouting percentage (93%) during 1st observation, while Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) was on top during the 2nd observation. Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) produced maximum fresh biomass (9.88 t ha-1 and 21.53 t ha-1) during spring 2006 and monsoon 2007, respectively. Dry matter yield was also higher in Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) i.e. 3.69 and 7.14 t ha-1 during the same seasons. Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) had higher (78%) moisture contents than any other grass of this study. Crude protein percentage was higher in Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) i.e. 6.73% followed by Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) (6.67%) and Finger grass (Digitaria swazilandensis) (6.20%). Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) attained the highest total digestible nutrients (57.82%). Based on results of the study, Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) has been recommended for this region under irrigated conditions.