- Volume 26 Issue 3
DOI QR Code
Nutritive Value of Grasses in Semi-arid Rangelands of Ethiopia: Local Experience Based Herbage Preference Evaluation versus Laboratory Analysis
- Keba, Habtamu T. (Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria) ;
- Madakadze, I.C. (Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria) ;
- Angassa, A. (School of Animal and Range Sciences, Hawassa University) ;
- Hassen, A. (Department of Animal Science and Wilde Life, University of Pretoria)
- Received : 2012.10.05
- Accepted : 2012.12.10
- Published : 2013.03.01
We examined the nutritive value of common grass species in the semi-arid rangelands of Borana in southern Ethiopia using local experience based herbage preference (LEBHP) perception and laboratory techniques. Local pastoralists in the study area were asked to identify common grass species and rank them according to the species' preferences and palatability to cattle. The pastoralists listed a total of 15 common grass species which were then sampled during the main rain and cold dry seasons and analyzed for crude protein (CP), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and ash content to verify pastoralists' claim regarding the quality of individual species. The relative feed value (RFV) and dry matter digestibility (DMD) were also calculated using NDF and ADF contents. Spearman's rank correlation was used to examine possible relationships between laboratory results and pastoralists' experience on grass quality. Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon aucheri, Digitaria milanjiana, Eragrostis papposa and Panicum maximum were the top five species based on LEBHP perception. There were indications of inconsistency in terms of LEBHP perception among the different pastoral communities. The chemical composition of all grass species showed significant (p<0.05) variation between sites, seasons and species. The results showed that the CP values for the Borana rangelands were in the range of 8.7% in the main rain season to 5.1% for the cold dry season. The fiber constituents were relatively low in the main rain season compared to the cold dry season. Overall, Digitaria milanjiana had the highest CP (16.5%) content, while the least was recorded with Heteropogon contortus (10.8) and Aristida adoensis (9.8%) during the main rain season. It seems that the spatial variability of landscapes within the wider geographical regions, soil properties and texture, and land-use patterns probably contributed to site differences in species quality. Generally, the RFV of individual grass species was significantly (p<0.05) varied between and within sites. The ranking of species by pastoralists according to their preferences by cattle was highly correlated with the chemical composition of laboratory results of individual grass species with 'r' values for CP (0.94), ash (0.95), NDF (-0.98), ADF (-0.93) and ADL (-0.93). We suggest the complimentary use of LEBHP and laboratory techniques in evaluating the nutritive quality of rangeland forage species for sustainable animal production.
Forage Preference Ranking;Grass Nutritive Value;Relative Feed Value;Semi-arid Rangelands;Spatial Variation in Feed Quality
- Abule, E., H. A. Snyman and G. N. Smit. 2007. Rangeland evaluation in the middle Awash valley of Ethiopia: III. Relationships among soil and vegetation variables. J. Arid Environ. 70: 293-303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2007.01.006
- Alemayehu, M. 2006. Range Management for Eastern Africa: Concepts and Practices. Addis Ababa University Printing Press. Addis Ababa.
- Ammar, H., S. Lopez, O. Bochi-Brum, R. Garcua and M. J. Ranilla. 1999. Composition and in vitro digestibility of leaves and stems of grasses and legumes harvested from permanent mountain meadows at different stages of maturity. J. Anim. Feed Sci. 8: 599-610.
- Angassa, A. and G. Oba. 2007. Relating long term rainfall variability to cattle population dynamics in commonual rangelands and government ranch in southern Ethiopia. Agr. Syst. 94: 715-725 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2007.02.012
- Angassa, A. and G. Oba. 2008. Effects of management and time on mechanisms of bush encroachment in southern Ethiopia. Afr. J. Ecol. 46: 186-196. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00832.x
- Angassa, A.and G. Oba. 2010. Effect of grazing pressure, age of enclosures and seasonality on bush cover dynamics and vegetation composition in Southern Ethiopia. J. Arid Environ. 74: 111-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2009.07.015
- Angassa, A. and B. Sheleme, G. Oba, A. C. Trendte, A. Linstadter and J. Sauerborn. 2012. Savanna land use and its effect on soil characteristics in Southern Ethiopia. J. Arid Environ. 81: 67-76.. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.01.006
- AOAC. 1990. Association Official Analytical Chemists 13th ed. Official methods of analysis, Washington DC, USA.
- Arzani, H., M. Basiri, F. Khatibi and G. Ghorbani. 2006. Nutritive value of some Zagros Mountain rangeland species. Small Rumin. Res. 65:128-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2005.05.033
- Arzani, H., M. R. Sadeghimanesh, H. Azarnivad, G. H. Asadian and E. Shahriyari. 2008. Study of phonological stages effect values of twelve species in Hamadan rangelands. Iran J. Range Desert Res. 16: 86-95.
- Beever, D. E., N. Offer and E. M. Gill. 2000. The feeding value of grass and grass products. In: Grass (Ed. A. Hopkins). Its production and utilization. Third edition. Blackwell Science Ltd. UK. pp. 140-195.
- Coppock, D. L. 1994. The Borana Plateau of southern Ethiopia. Synthesis of pastoral Research, development and change, 1980-91. International livestock center for Africa (ILCA) ,Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, p. 299.
- Da Silva, D. S., M. V. M. de Andrade, A. P. de Andrade, M. S. de Souza Carneiro and J. S. de Oliveira. 2011. Bromatologic composition of the herbaceous species of the North eastern Brazil Caatinga. Rev. Bras. Zootech. 40:756-764. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982011000400008
- Fowler, J. and L. Cohen. 1996. Practical Statistics for Field Biology. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK.
- Ganskopp, D. and D. Bohnert. 2001. Nutritional dynamics of seven northern Great basin grasses. J. Range. Manage. 54: 640-647. https://doi.org/10.2307/4003664
- Gee, G. W. and J. W. Bauder. 1986. Particle size analysis. In: methods of soil analysis, part 1. Physical and mineralogical methods (Ed. A. Klute). Agronomy Monograph (2ed) Am. Soc. Agron. 9:383-411.
- Gemedo, D. 2004. Vegetation ecology, rangeland condition and forage resources evaluation in the Borana Lowlands, Southern Oromia, Ethiopia. A PhD Thesis, University of Gotingen, Germany.
- Gemedo, D., B. L. Maass and J. Isselstein. 2006. Encroachment of woody plants and its impact on pastoral livestock production in the Borana lowlands, southern Oromia, Ethiopia. Afr. J. Ecol. 44:237-246. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00638.x
- Henkin, N., E. D. Ungar, L. Dvash, A. Perevolotsky, Y. Yehuda, M. Sternbergs, H. Voet and S. Y. Landau. 2011. Effects of cattle grazing on herbage quality in a herbaceous Mediterranean rangeland. Grass Forage Sci. 66:516-525. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2011.00808.x
- Hussain, F. and J. D. Mufakhirah. 2009 Nutritional evaluation of some forage plants from Harboi rangeland, Kalat, pakstan. Pak. J. Bot. 41:1137-1154.
- Kassam, K. 2009. Viewing change through the prism of indigenous human ecology: Findings from the Afghan and Tajik Paamirs. Human Ecol. 37:677-690. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-009-9284-8
- Knapp, C. N. and M. Fernandez-Gimenez. 2008. Knowing the land: A review of local knoweladge revealed in the ranch memoirs. Rangeland Ecol. Manage. 61:148-155. https://doi.org/10.2111/07-088.1
- Ludwing, F., H. de Kroon, F. Berendse and H. H. T. Prins. 2004. The influence of savanna trees on nutrient, water and light availability and the under storey vegetation. Plant Ecol. 170: 93-105. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:VEGE.0000019023.29636.92
- Ludwing, J. A., B. P. Wilcox, D. D. Breshears, D. J. Tongway and A. C. Imeson. 2005. Vegetation patches and run-off-erosion as interacting ecohydrological processes in semi-arid landscapes. Ecol. 86:288-297. https://doi.org/10.1890/03-0569
- Mahala, A. G., I. V. Nsahlai, N. A. D. Basha and L. A. Mohammed. 2009. Nutritive evaluation of natural pasture at early and late rainfall season in Kordofan and Butana, Sudan, Aust. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 3:4327-4332.
- McLean, E. O. 1982. Soil pH and lime requirement. In: Methods of soil analysis (Ed. A. L. R. Page, R. H. Miller and D. R. Keeney). part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed.) Agronomy 9:199-223.
- Michiels, B., S. Babatounde, M. Dahouda, S. L. W. Chabi and A. Buldgen. 2000. Botanical composition and nutritive value of forage consumed by sheep during the rain season in a Sudan - Guinean savanna (central Benin). Trop. Grasslands 34:43-47.
- Minson, D. J. 1989. The chemical composition and nutritive value of tropical grasses. In: XTropical grasses. FAO plant and production and protection series No. 23 (Ed. P. J. Skerman and F. Riveros). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy, pp. 133-162.
- Minson, D. J. 1990. Forage in ruminant nutrition. (Ed. T. J. Conha). pp. 60-263. Academic Press, Inc., Javanorich Publishers, USA.
- Moore, K. J. and H. J. Jung. 2001. Lignin and fiber digestion. J. Range. Manage. 54:420-430. https://doi.org/10.2307/4003113
- Mutanga, O., H. H. T. Prins, A. K. Skidmore, S. van Wieren, H. Huizing, R. Grant, M. Peel and H. Biggs. 2004. Explaing grass nutrient patterns in savannah rangeland of southern Africa. J. Biogeogr. 31:819-829. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2004.01072.x
- Oba, G. 1998. Assessments of indigenous range management knowledge of the Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. Borana Lowland Pastoral Development Program/GTZ, Consultancy paper, Negelle /Borana May 1998.
- Oba, G. and D. G. Kotile. 2001. Assessments of landscape level degradation in southern Ethiopia: Pastoralists versus ecologists. Land Degrad. Dev. 12:461-475. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.463
- Oba, G., R. B. Weladji, D. J. Msangameno, L. M. Kaitira and J. Stave. 2008. Scaling effects of proximate desertification drivers on soil nutrients in northeastern Tanzania. J. Arid Environ. 72:1820-1829. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2008.04.009
- Olsen, S. R. and L. E. Sommers. 1982. Phosphorus. In: Methods of Soil Analysis (Ed. A. L. Page, R. H. Miller, D. R. Keeney). Part 2: Chemical and Microbiological Properties. J. Am. Soc. Agron. 403-427.
- Oddy, V. U., G. E. Roberts and S. G. Low. 1983. Prediction of in-vivo dry matter digestibility from fiber and nitrogen content of feed. Common Wealth Agriculture Bureax, Australia. pp. 295-298.
- Pierotti, R. and D. Wildcat. 2000. Traditional ecological knoweladge: The third alternative (Commentary). Ecol. Appl. 10:1333-1340. https://doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(2000)010[1333:TEKTTA]2.0.CO;2
- Rietkerk, M., T. Ouedraogo, L. Kumar, S. Sanou, J. van Andel, J. Hearne, A. K. Skidmore, N. de Ridder, L. Stroosnijder and H. H. T. Prins. 2002. Fine-Scale spatial distribution of plants and resources on sandy soil in Sahel. Plant and Soil 239:69-77. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014970523241
- SAS Institute. 2001. Statistical Analysis Software. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.
- SPSS, 2003. Statistical procedure for social science version 17. Statistical procedures for social sciences (SPSS) INC, Chicago, USA.
- Snyman, H. A. 1998. Dynamics and sustainable utilization of the rangeland ecosystem in arid and semi-arid climates of southern Africa. J. Arid Environ. 39:645-666. https://doi.org/10.1006/jare.1998.0387
- Stalling, C. C. 2005. Test available for measuring forage quality. Virginia Cooperative Extension Dairy Guideline 404-124. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu./404/404-124/404-124html.
- Stoddart, L. A., A. D. Smith and T. W. Box. 1975. Range Management. New York, Mc Grew-Hill. p. 532.
- Tessema, Z. K., W. F. de Boer, R. M. T. Baars and H. H. T. Prins. 2011. Changes in soil nutrients, vegetation structure and herbaceous biomass in response to grazing in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. J. Arid Environ. 75:662-670. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.02.004
- Thompson, L. M. and R. T. Frederick. 1978. Soil and Soil Fertility. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, USA.
- Van der Westhuizen, H. C., H. A. Snyman and H. J. Fouche. 2005. A degradation gradient for the assessment of rangeland condition of a semi-arid sour veld in southern Africa. Afr. J. Range Forage Sci. 22:47-58. https://doi.org/10.2989/10220110509485861
- Van Reeuwijk, L. P. 1995. Procedures for Soil Analysis. Technical paper 9, fifth ed. ISRIC, Wageningen.
- Van Soest, P. J., J. B. Robertson and B. A. Lewis. 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non - starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J. Dairy Sci. 74:3583-3597. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78551-2
- Opportunities for Napier Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) Improvement Using Molecular Genetics vol.7, pp.2, 2017, https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy7020028
- emission mitigation in rangelands vol.9, pp.2, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/17583004.2018.1451963
- The influence of food availability, quality and body size on patch selection of coexisting grazer ungulates in western Serengeti National Park vol.46, pp.1, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18072