Effect of stage of harvest on dry matter yield and nutritive value of lablab purpureus, Centrosema pubescens and Mucuna pruriens as fodder in Adamawa State, Nigeria
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of growth, biomas yieds and nutritive value of Lablab purpureus, Centrosema pubescens and Mucuna pruriens under rain fed condition in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. The field experiment was laid in a randomized complete block design with the plot divided into three main plots and replicated three times measuring 5x5m with inter and intra row spacings of 0.5m. The five harvesting stages are 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 weeks, respectively. The growth in height increases with stage of growth and declined with reduction in rainfall. Higher growth were recorded in T3 (3.8 -354.8cm) followed by T2 (2.96-260.20cm) and then T1 (1.50-213.00cm) and the results were presented graphically. The result of the chemical composition of all the legumes showed that the crude protein decreases with stage of growth from weeks 6 -14 (14.40, 12.26, 10.65-10.08, 6.79, 6.49) and ADF and NDF (25.20, 32.15, 27.35-42.13, 40.33, 36.50 and 32.20, 54.45, 47.00- 51.24, 63.53, 66.33), respectively. The biomass yields were significantly different (P<0.05) for all the legumes at different harvesting stages T1 (2744.53-3186.93), T2 (2696.47- 3006.70) and T3 (2843.73-3147.63). It is therefore concluded that legumes could best be harvested between weeks 10 and 12 when the yield and quality are at levels to sustain the animals both for maintenance and production.