Authors: *1Bala, A.G., 2Hassan, M.R., 3Tanko, R. J., 2Abdu, S.B., 2Bello, S.S., 4Ibrahim, U. B., 3Ishiaku, Y.M., 3Ibrahim, H.,1Hassan A.H.,3Abubabakr, S.A.,3Ahmed, S. A., 1Shuaibu, A. S and 5Abdullahi, U.
A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of varying levels of irrigation volume, irrigation frequency and Natron (Kanwa) on chemical composition of Chamaecrista rotundifolia forage. The experiment was laid out in a split plot with 3×2×2 factorial arrangement, with three replications. Results indicated that the crude protein, ether extract and ash increased (P<0.05) by 23%, 27% and 16% respectively, while N, P and K increased (P<0.05) by 27%, 60%, and 71% respectively at 8 weeks after sowing in treatments with the lowest irrigation volume compared to the highest. Similarly, irrigation frequency followed a similar trend with 6 days having higher (P<0.05) values than 3 days in all parameters measured. However, for natron (Kanwa)application level, there was (11% and 13%) higher (P<0.05) dry matter and crude protein, respectively in treatment with 40kg/ha compared to 20kg/ha during the harvesting period. Also for the mineral contents, there was an increasing trend (P<0.05) in all the parameters determined at 40kg/ha Kanwa application level except for P, Fe and K which were similar (P>0.05) between the treatments. It was hence, concluded thatall the treatments imposed have an effect on the chemical composition of C. rotundifolia. It is therefore, economically feasible for famers to irrigate the forage based on the minimum irrigation volume (25L) that supplies adequate soil moisture in combination with cheap nutrient source (40kg/haKanwa) at 6 days irrigation interval for better nutritional quality and mineral content of the forage in the Northern Guinea savannah of Nigeria. This will help to save the extra cost of labour and waste of resources, thereby increasing farm output.
Keywords: Chamaecrista, irrigation, mineral content, nutritional quality.
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