Preliminary evaluation of the suitability of Enterolobium cyclocarpum for use in intensive feed garden in southwestern Nigeria
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The best method of establishment of Enterolobium cyclocarpum (enterolobium) and biomass yields and nutritive value under cutting were determined in three separate trials. Soaking in boiled water for 30 seconds gave the highest percent seed germination (76%) and most vigorous seedlings. Transplanted seedlings out-grew direct-seeded plants with 1.70 and 1.12 m, respectively, at six months after planting. Intra-row spacing did not significantly affect early growth of the plants. Cutting every 12 weeks gave the highest leaf (4.05 t/ha), stem (2.26 t/ha) and total (leaf + stem) dry matter yields. Cutting regimes did not significantly affect the crude protein and neutral detergent fibre content of the leaves which averaged 21.3 and 60.7%, respectively. This initial study suggests that enterolobium has a potential as a forage tree and should be further studied to understand its agronomy and feed value.
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