Abstract— Pot experiment was conducted at Ndele, Rivers state, southern rainforest of Nigeria to determine the effect of cutting frequency on forage growth and yield in elephant grass, Pennisetum purpureum. The study was a single factor experiment of cutting intervals (5 days; 10 days; 15 days and 20 days) replicated 3 times, arranged in a randomized complete block design using replicates as blocks. Data collected were plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, forage fresh weight and dry weight. Results showed that cutting frequency significantly influenced plant height or growth rate, leaf area and number of leaves. Leaf area and number of leaves reduced with higher frequency or shorter interval of cutting. Grasses cut at 20 days interval recorded the greatest number of leaves and highest leaf area. Cutting frequency markedly affected forage fresh weight and dry matter production (dry weight) and there was noticeable forage yield reduction in grasses cut at 5 days interval (higher frequency) with progressive cuttings as against those cut at 20 days interval (low frequency). Grasses cut at 20 days interval recorded the highest growth and leaf production, the most forage fresh weight and dry matter yield. 20 days interval is hereby recommended for cutting Pennistum purpureum cutting or gracing in southern rainforest of Nigeria.
Keywords— Cutting interval, forage production, Pennisetum purpureum, southern rainforest, Nigeria.
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