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Olorunnisomo, 2007. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 19 (3): 36

Document reference 
Olorunnisomo, O. A., 2007. Yield and quality of sweet potato forage pruned at different intervals for West African dwarf sheep. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 19 (3): 36
Abstract 

In order to study the effect of cutting management on yield and quality of sweet potato (SP) forage grown for dry season feeding of sheep, SP vines were subjected to four cutting regimes: pruning at 4, 6, 8 weeks interval and uncut plots (control), using a randomized complete block design. Cut forages were fed to twelve mature West African dwarf (WAD) sheep confined in metabolic pens for 14 days to determine the digestibility. Dry matter (DM) yield of forage was 8.6, 12.0, 12.2 and 8.1 t/ha while biomass yield was 12.9, 17.0, 18.1 and 17.0 t/ha for 4, 6, 8 weeks cutting interval and control plots respectively. Crude protein (CP) content of the forage was 26.7, 25.0, 21.8 and 20.1% while DM digestibility was 75.7, 68.7, 65.2 and 64.0% for the respective cutting intervals. Frequent cutting of SP vines (4 weeks interval) did not significantly (P>0.05) improve forage yield whereas root yield and total biomass production were significantly (P<0.05) depressed. Pruning at longer intervals (6 and 8 weeks) significantly (P<0.05) improved forage yield at the expense of root yield. Biomass production was however, not significantly (P>0.05) affected. CP content of forage increased as frequency of cutting increased while the fibre content reduced. DM and nutrient digestibility of the forage improved (P<0.05) with more frequent cutting of the vine. The number of animals supported by one hectare of SP crop increased as interval between cuttings increased although quality of forage was compromised. Pruning at 6 weeks interval optimized the yield and quality of SP forage fed to WAD sheep.

Citation key 
Olorunnisomo, 2007