Nutritional evaluation of 14 dual-purpose sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) cultivars as livestock feed
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ABSTRACT Livestock production in Uganda is majorly constrained by the feed scarcity especially during the dry season. Feed scarcity is due to the limited land allocated to cultivation of forage crops arising from competitive need of cultivating food crops. Utilisation of sorghum a multi-purpose crop with high adaptability to marginal areas, tolerant to drought and low resource requirement though is an option. Stover feed quality has been improved through breeding. In this present study, 14 dual-purpose improved Sorghum cultivars were grown under similar agronomic and soil conditions at NaLIRRI and evaluated for grain yield, forage dry matter and stover quality. Sorghum cultivar ABJ 2226 produced the highest grain yield of 4.167 ton/ha while cultivar ABJ 2237 and ABJ 2245T-35 produced the highest forage dry matter yield of 12.4667 ton/ha. Stover quality was evaluated in terms of nutritional composition, relative feed value attributes and energetic efficiency for livestock production. Significant (p <0.05) variations in all nutritional traits were noted among the cultivars. Mean CP contents of cultivars ranged from 7.9 (ABJ 2237) to 13.6% (ABJ 2253T-40). Cell wall polysaccharides in terms of NDF varied from 39.49% (ABJ 2226) to 74.16% (ABJ 2244T-3g) while ADF ranged from32.79% (ABJ 2253T-43) to 70.47% (ABJ 2244T-3g) respectively. Cultivars ABJ 2244T-3g and ABJ 22233T-23 had the lowest and highest Dry matter digestibility of 34% and 63.3% respectively. Cultivars ABJ 2244T-3g and ABJ 2226 had the lowest and highest Dry matter intake of 1.6% and 3% BW respectively. Relative feed value (RFV) was the highest and lowest in ABJ 2226 and ABJ 2244T-3g respectively. Energy value in terms of Metabolisable energy ranged from 5.929 (ABJ 2244T-3g) -10.242 MJ/kg (ABJ 2253T-43) while digestible energy (DE) ranged from 7.217 (ABJ 2244T-3g)- 12.477 MJ/kg (ABJ 2253T-43). From this study, Cultivar ABJ 2226 is recommended as the best for feeding livestock as it had the highest relative feed value. ABJ 2244T-3g should further be genetically improved for forage purposes due to its high fibre contents though with the highest energy contents (ME and DE).