oa Journal of Applied Science in Southern Africa - Chemical composition of three herbaceous tropical forage legumes grown successfully in Zimbabwe

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1019-7788



Desmodium uncinatum, Stylosanthes guianensis and Macroptilium atropurpureum, grown at the University of Zimbabwe Farm, were harvested serially in the early (December), mid (February) and late (April) growing season in 1992/93 and oven-dried. Field-cured hays were also made from the legumes in April 1993 and 1994. The legumes differed in phenological development which, in turn, influenced crude protein (CP) levels. The CP content of S. guianensis (132 to 167 g/kg dry matter) was the least and first rose and then fell, that of D. uncinatum (195 to 234 g/kg DM) decreased, while that of M. atropurpureum (189 to 229 g/kg DM) increased with the season. Neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was higher in the early (364 to 440 g/kg DM) than in the mid to late season (470 to 559 g/kg DM).

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