عنوان مقاله [English]
Maize has an important role in livestock nutrition. Thus, improving its forage quality through agronomical managements seems to be of high importance. To evaluate quality traits of forage maize cultivars in response to plant densities, a factorial experiment based on RCBD with three replications was carried out at the Research Station of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Maragheh during 2013-2014 growing season. The first factor was plant density with three levels (93000, 105000 and 119000 plant.ha-1) and the second factor was maize cultivars with five levels (Zola, Simon, NS, 540 and 370). Results of the experiment indicated that dry matter production was affected by the interaction of plant density and cultivar, where cultivar 540 produced the highest dry forage (980 g.m-2) by density of 119000 plant.h-1 and cultivar NS the lowest (933 g.m-2) dry forage by density of 93000 plant.m-2. However, all cultivars under study produced higher dry matter under higher plant densities. It was also observed that Zola cultivar, with 638 g.kg-1 of hemicellulose, had the lowest forage quality. Other cultivars were in the same statistical group. Phosphorous content of forage was in its highest value in 93000 plant density, while calcium content was not affected by plant density. Lower plant densities resulted in higher crude protein content. Cultivar no. 540 produced the highest crude protein yield (kg.ha-1) suggesting its superiority to the other cultivar. This cultivar can be recommended for growing in this region and other regions with same climatic conditions for producing high quality and quantity of maize forage production.
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