Tropical Grasslands (1980) Volume 14, 14–18

EFFECT OF PLANT HEIGHT AND CUTTING HEIGHT ON YIELD AND QUALITY OF INDIGOFERA HIRSUTA

R.S. KALMBACHER, E.M. HODGES and F.G. MARTIN

Abstract

Hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta) was cut when plants attained heights of 30, 60, or 90 cm. The plants were cut to leave 7.5, 15.0 or 22.5 cm stubble in 1976 and 7.5 or 22.5 cm in 1977. Regrowth was cut when plants reached 30 or 60 cm in 1976 and 30, 60 or 90 cm in 1977.
Plant height at initial harvest and height of stubble, had the greatest influence on the per cent crude protein and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), and yield of protein digestible organic matter and dry matter. Regrowth was inhibited at taller initial heights through removal of regenerative axillary buds. Delaying initial harvest increased yield of dry matter, protein and digestible organic matter, bull protein and IVOMD percentage declined.
It is suggested that hairy indigo intended for hay or silage be cut at a low height (7.5 cm) when stands are tall (90 cm). Stands intended for grazing should be first used when plants reach 30 to 60 cm in height in order to allow for a second grazing on regrowth.

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