Yield and nutritional value of Moringa oleifera forage at different population densities


Edwin R. Alvarado-Ramírez
Santiago Joaquín-Cancino
Benigno Estrada-Drouaillet
Elvia M. Romero-Treviño
Diana I. LLanes-Gil-López
Jonathan R. Garay-Martínez


Forage tree, morphological composition, semi-arid.


Objective: To evaluate the aerial biomass yield and nutritional value of Moringa oleifera at densities of 50,000 (D1), 100,000 (D2) and 200,000 (D3) plants ha-1. Design/methodology/approach: The experiment was established under a random complete block design arranged in divided plots and three repetitions and from 155 days after planting 5 cuts were made every 28 days. The variables evaluated were yield (kg ha-1) of total dry matter (TDM), sheet (sDM) and contents (g kg-1) of crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid (ADF).

Results: An interaction between densities and cuts was observed. In TDM performance, in cuts 1 and 2, D1 outperformed D2 and D3, by 71 % and 83 %, respectively; however, D3 had the highest TDM yield (P<0.05) in cuts 3 and 4, 47 % higher than D2 and D1 and D2 by 46 % and 76 %, respectively. The highest yield of sDM was presented in D1, in cuts 1 and 2 (561 and 852 kg ha-1, respectively); while D3 showed the highest values in cuts 3 and 4, (901 and 1054 kg ha-1, respectively). When increasing from D1 to D2 there was a decrease (P<0.05) in the CP content of 11 % (222 vs. 198 g kg-1). Regarding the values of NDF and ADF, no differences (P>0.05) were found between the densities evaluated.

Limitations/implications: The density of plants in Moringa oleifera determine the yield potential and nutritional value of the forage.

Findings/conclusions: Moringa oleifera established in semi-arid conditions at a density of 50,000 ha-1 plants and with cutting intervals of 28 days, presented the best productive behavior in terms of yield and protein concentration.

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