EFFECT OF CUTTING INTERVALS ON YIELD AND QUALITY OF THE GREEN FODDER TRICHANTHERA GIGANTEA
This study was aimed to determine the effect of cutting intervals on leaf yield and quality of the green fodder Trichanthera gigantea used as feed material, mostly in poultry and rabbit diets, in order to improve farm animal products (such as meat and egg). This study included five different formulas (NT) representing five different cutting intervals, namely: NT1: 40 days, NT2: 50 days, NT3: 60 days, NT4: 70 days and NT5: 80 days of cutting intervals. All treatments were allocated in a complete block randomized design; each treatment was repeated 5 times. The other factors such as plantation density, cutting height and fertilizer dosage were similar among the treatments. The obtained results showed that from NT1 to NT5, the leaf dry matter yields were 7.34, 12.13, 12.41, 11.94 and 11.80 tons/ha/year, respectively; crude protein yields were 1.88, 3.13, 3.06, 2.78 and 2.69 tons/ha/year. When the cutting intervals increased from 40 to 80 days, the proportion of dry matter in the fresh leaves increased from 12.91% to 21.04%, crude protein proportion on dry matter decreased from 25.56% to 22.77%; crude fiber proportion on dry matter increased from 9.92% to 12.50%. Based on statistical analysis of dry matter yield and leaf chemical composition of green fodder T. gigantea, it is recommended that the most suitable cutting intervals for Trichanthera gigantea should be 50 – 60 days.