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The Effect of Urea Fertilizer Rate and Spacing on Dry Matter Yield of Desho Grass-Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L) Mixture in Mid Altitude of Southern Ethiopia

Kamil Temam Mossa


Economic development in developing countries is unable to keep pace with the population growth and food/feed shortage. Growing high yielding quality forage crops with appropriate agronomic packages and using cropping systems that enable to produce two or more forage crops in a year at the same place is essential. Experiment was therefore conducted to evaluate the effects of urea fertilizer  rate and row spacing on the morphological characteristics, yield and nutritional value of a mixture of desho grass and alfalfa at Werabe Agricultural Research Center (WARC).

Urea fertilizer rate (0, 25, 50 kg/ha) and row spacing (50, 65, 80 cm) arranged factorial in randomized complete block design with three replications. Interaction effects were significant (P>0.05) for number of leaves, plant height of desho and mixed dry matter yield at Meskan and desho of plant height and number of tiller at Hulbareg. Highest (30.74, 29.82) t/ha mixed dry matter yield was recorded from (50, 25) kg/ha urea with (80, 65) cm row spacing respectively than the others. In terms of chemical composition, highest CP (11.69%) was recorded in 50 kg/ha urea with 80 cm row spacing. The results showed that maximum dry matter yield and improved quality could be achieved with higher urea fertilizer ratios and wider spacings when available to smallholder farmers. However, if there is shortage of land and urea fertilizer, the use of medium rate of urea fertilizer and row spacing could be an alternative to produce good quality desho-alfalfa mixed fodder with optimum yield.


Urea, fertilizer rate, row spacing, desho grass, alfalfa, nutritive value

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