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Itchgrass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis)

Datasheet

Description
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Common names 

Itchgrass, guinea fowl grass, kelly grass, kokoma grass, raoul grass, buffalo bean grass, corn grass [English]; herbe fataque duvet, queue-de-rat [French] (USDA, 2009; GISD, 2010)

Synonyms 

Manisuris exaltata (L. f.) Kuntze, Rottboellia exaltata L. f., Stegosia cochinchinensis Lour.

Related feed(s) 
Description 

Itchgrass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton) is an annual grass weed up to 3 m high, with a sturdy and erect culm, often tillering and rooting at the nodes. The inflorescence is a spike-like cylindrical raceme up to 15 cm long. The seeds are capsule-shaped (Ecoport, 2009).

Distribution 

Itchgrass is present in more than 30 warm-climate countries of America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It thrives in moist, permeable heavy-textured soils.

Environmental impact 

Itchgrass is an invasive species. The plant reproduces by seeds and a single plant can produce more than 3000 seeds. It is an important weed in several crops including maize, sugar cane, upland and rain-fed rice, beans, sorghum and perennials such as citrus and oil palm at early stages of growth. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million ha of cropping lands are infested with itchgrass in Central America and the Caribbean (Valverde, 2003).

Nutritional aspects
Ruminants 

Itchgrass is a useful fodder grass when young and suitable for ensiling. When tall, its stiff hairs cause irritation and unpalatability (Göhl, 1982). Tanzanian farmers rank it third behind Pennisetum purpureum and Megathyrsus maximus for growth, milk yield and general animal health. It can be mixed with other grasses to feed cattle, which results in a higher dry matter intake (Komwihangilo et al., 2007a).

In Pakistan, itchgrass was not found nutritious enough for animal requirements and supplementation was recommended (Sultan et al., 2007). In Samoa, wilting itchgrass gave better results than hay as a dry season forage for goats and resulted in higher voluntary dry matter intake, energy intake and crude protein digestibility (Aregheore, 2006).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 37.2 8.1 23.8 48.6 7
Crude protein % DM 8.1 2.3 4.9 11.8 10
Crude fibre % DM 34.6 5.2 23.4 38.3 7
NDF % DM 69.8 9.1 64.0 84.3 4 *
ADF % DM 40.3 8.1 32.0 46.5 3 *
Lignin % DM 5.5 4.6 5.5 2 *
Ether extract % DM 2.2 0.5 1.6 2.9 6
Ash % DM 10.8 3.1 7.3 17.0 10
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.8 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 3.3 0.9 2.2 4.6 5
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.8 1.2 1.2 4.3 5
Potassium g/kg DM 11.0 2.5 7.2 13.6 5
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2 0.1 0.3 2
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.6 0.3 2.3 3.1 4
Manganese mg/kg DM 203 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 27 1
Copper mg/kg DM 5 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 59.3 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 56.7 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.2 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Aregheore, 2006; CIRAD, 1991; Dougall et al., 1965; Holm, 1971; Komwihangilo et al., 2007; Sultan et al., 2007

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:11

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 91.4 89.8 93.0 2
Crude protein % DM 7.0 6.5 7.4 2
Crude fibre % DM 43.0 1
NDF % DM 66.5 1
ADF % DM 55.5 1
Lignin % DM 8.8 *
Ether extract % DM 1.0 0.9 1.0 2
Ash % DM 8.1 5.6 10.7 2
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.3 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.7 1
Potassium g/kg DM 21.1 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.8 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 50.2 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 46.9 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.6 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.9 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Aregheore, 2006; CIRAD, 1991

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:11

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 94.2 93.6 94.8 2
Crude protein % DM 3.7 2.0 1.5 5.3 3
Crude fibre % DM 39.2 31.1 47.3 2
NDF % DM 76.2 *
ADF % DM 45.5 *
Lignin % DM 6.6 *
Ether extract % DM 0.8 0.8 0.9 2
Ash % DM 9.9 0.8 9.2 10.8 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.6 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.9 2.4 3.3 2
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.1 0.3 1.8 2
Potassium g/kg DM 13.0 10.2 15.8 2
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.3 2.2 2.3 2
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 47.7 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 44.0 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 7.8 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.3 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

CIRAD, 1991; Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:11

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., 2015. Itchgrass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/388 Last updated on May 11, 2015, 14:30

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
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