Effects of cutting frequency and fertilizer-N application on growth and production on guinea grass (Panicum maximum Jacq) sown pasture
A study was conducted to determine the effects of cutting frequency and fertilizer-N rates on growth and production of guinea grass (Panicum maximum Jacq). The experiment was conducted in Nsukka, Nigeria. Treatments comprised four levels of fertilizer N (0, 150, 300 and 450 kg N ha- 1) and four cutting intervals (3, 6, 9 and 12 weekly intervals). Plant height, tiller number and herbage dry matter yields were significantly increased by 6%, 44% and 53%, respectively, during the establishment year when fertilizer-N rate was increased from 0 to 450 kg N ha-1. The extent of weed cover was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by 33% in 2000 when fertilizer-N rate was increased from 0 to 450 kg N ha-1. Increase in interval between cuts from 3 to 12 weeks significantly (P < 0.05) increased plant height in all the years. Plant height was increased (P < 0.05) by 28%, 34% and 28% in 2001, 2002 and 2004, respectively, when fertilizer N was increased from 0 to 450 kg ha-1. Application of N at 450 kg ha-1 produced similar plant heights in 2001 with the 300 kg N ha-1 but differed from the 150 kg N ha-1. Increase in nitrogen application progressively increased (P < 0.05) plant height in 2002 and 2004.
Keywords: Cutting regime, nitrogen fertilizer, plant height, establishment