Effect of cutting age and cutting height on production and nutritive value of sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea) harvest in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

S. Srisaikham, P. Lounglawan
The cutting age and cutting height of sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea) harvest was studied for yield and nutrient composition. This field experiment was grown on sandy loam soil with pH 6.4 during the rainy seasons in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. The cutting ages were 35, 45 and 55 days between harvests and the cutting heights were 35, 45 and 55 cm above ground level. The experiment was a 3×3 factorial layout in a randomized complete block design with 5 replications NDASH giving a total of 45 plots each 3×3 m2. Harvested plant material was weighed, dried and the ground subsamples taken for analyses of crude protein (CP), crude fiber (CF), ash, ether extract (EE), nitrogen-free extract (NFE), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL). The results revealed that the presence of increasing the cutting age increased dry matter (DM), nutrient yields and alkaloids significantly. In terms of nutrient content, it also increased the CF, NDF, ADF, and ADL percent in the plant. However, ash, CP, EE and NFE percentages were markedly decreased as the cutting age increased. Increasing cutting height had no effect on DM yield, but ash, CP and EE contents were increased whereas CF content was decreased. The percentage of NDF in the plant was unaffected by cutting height. From the results presented it is clear that the proper time of cutting a stand of sunnhemp harvest 55 days will achieve greater DM and nutrient yields than cutting at 35 days. In conclusion, the cutting height at harvest of sunnhemp, whether 35, 45 or 55 cm. above ground level had no effect on DM or nutrient yields. Sunnhemp therefore offers the Thai small farmers a beneficial alternative fodder for cattle diets rather than relying on the further expensive protein sources (soybean meal).
Srisaikham, S. and Lounglawan, P. (2018). Effect of cutting age and cutting height on production and nutritive value of sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea) harvest in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Acta Hortic. 1210, 29-34
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1210.4
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1210.4
sunnhemp, Crotalaria juncea, cutting height, cutting age, harvest, chemical composition
English

Acta Horticulturae