Inclusion levels of tree and herbaceous legumes on nutritive quality of grass silage: results from on-farm trials

dc.contributor.authorEbro, Abule
dc.contributor.authorAranguiz, Adolfo Alvarez
dc.contributor.authorNemera, Fekadu
dc.contributor.authorBijdevaate, Lisan
dc.contributor.authorAddis, Haymanot
dc.contributor.authorDemise, Hailu
dc.contributor.authorvan der Lee, Jan
dc.description© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agroforestry Systems, available online at: . Keywords: Ada'a; Mecha; Ethiopia; Pennisetum; nutritive value; seasonality.
dc.description.abstractThe escalating prices of protein concentrate supplements and increasing demand for dairy products in Ethiopia call for preservation of surplus forage during the growing season, to be fed to dairy cows at time of feed shortage. The objective of this on-farm study was to evaluate the nutritive quality of Napier and Desho grass silages with tree legume (sesbania) and herbaceous legumes (alfalfa, lablab, and faba bean) as legume components. Napier or Desho grasses were ensiled in bags with each legume at 0, 20, 30 and 40% inclusion levels (fresh weight). Replicates included nine and six farms in Mecha and Ad’aa districts, respectively. Silage bags were opened after 60 days, samples were taken for chemical analyses and evaluated for physical features. Data were analyzed using a completely randomized design in SPSS and differences among means separated using Duncan’s. Silages were firm at Mecha and fairly firm at Ada’a. No mold appeared. pH values varied from 3.94 to 4.5 and increased (p < 0.001) with increasing levels of legume inclusion. The crude protein values followed a similar pattern to that of the pH. The fiber contents, NDF (p < 0.001) and ADF (p < 0.05/p < 0.01) declined while that of ADL increased (p < 0.001) with increasing legume inclusion levels. The different legume-based silages were assessed as highly palatable and revealed that the use of tree and herbaceous legumes can improve the nutritive quality of grasses.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe research was undertaken with the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia through the BRIGE project.
dc.identifier.citationEbro, A., Aranguiz, A.A., Nemera, F. et al. Inclusion levels of tree and herbaceous legumes on nutritive quality of grass silage: results from on-farm trials. Agroforest Syst (2023).
dc.publisherSpringer Nature
dc.titleInclusion levels of tree and herbaceous legumes on nutritive quality of grass silage: results from on-farm trials
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