Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization and interZiziphus Jujubealleys cropping on blue panic grass (Panicum antidotale Retz) yield

Abstract In order to test the effects of intercropping and nitrogen fertilization on blue panic (Panicum antidotale) yield, a field experiment was conducted at the Agricultural Research Station of King Abdulaziz University, located at Hada Al-Sham during two consecutive seasons (2013 and 2014). Blue panic was intercropped between interspaces alleys of Ziziphus Jujube under three different levels of nitrogen fertilizer (0 kg N/ha, 200 kg N/ha and 400 kg N/ha in the form of commercial Urea,46%) and three distances from the jujube tree (1m ,2m and 4m). Blue panic fresh and dry forage yield (tons/ha) and quality was assessed during ten cuttings harvests. The results exhibited significant effects of intercropping, nitrogen fertilization and distance from the tree on forage yield and quality. Forage yield across all ten harvests were higher under intercropped plots compared to sole crops and in plots treated with 200 and 400 kg N and 2-meter distance from the trees. Total fresh forage yield /ha/10 cuts of the intercropped blue panic under 400 kg N/ha and 2m distance reached 186 tons/ha/year. Whereas the highest protein content means overall the different cuts was 11.51% in plots fertilized with 400 kg N/ha at 1m distance from the trees. This current study highlights the importance of utilizing jujube alleys to maximize land use value of this widely planted arid land tree.

Keywords— Forage yield, Forage quality, Jujube tree, alley cropping.

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