DOI: 10.3390/agronomy13123053 ISSN: 2073-4395

Ameliorating Forage Crop Resilience in Dry Steppe Zone Using Millet Growth Dynamics

Almas Kurbanbayev, Meisam Zargar, Hristina Yancheva, Gani Stybayev, Nurlan Serekpayev, Aliya Baitelenova, Nurbolat Mukhanov, Adilbek Nogayev, Balzhan Akhylbekova, Mostafa Abdelkader
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Introducing new forage crops such as Japanese millet (Echinochloa frumentacea) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change in the dry steppe zone, expanding forage crop options, and obtaining nutritious feed for the development of animal husbandry. The aim of this study was to assess the productivity and feed value of these crops. Field experiments were conducted in 2021 and 2022 to investigate the changes and variations in the yields and chemical compositions of Japanese millet and pearl millet when grown as sole crops or in mixed cropping in the dry steppe zone of northern Kazakhstan. Among the annual crops sown via sole cropping, the hay of the Japanese millet, sown in the third decade of May and harvested during full heading, was observed to have a higher content of raw protein and other nutrients than Sudanese grass hay, that is, the raw protein content was higher at 1.81%, the raw oil content at 0.12, and the raw ash content at 1.88%. In addition, among the mixtures of crops, the hay of the crop mixtures containing pearl millet, sown in the above period and harvested as hay during the milky stage, the full heading stage, and the formation of spikelets in the grain family stage, differed from the hay of Sudanese grass sown in the same period and collected during full heading in terms of the contents of raw protein and other nutrients and the low content of raw ash, that is, the content of raw protein was at 2.16%, raw oil at 0.39, raw ash at 0.95, without nitrogen extractives (WNEs) at 3.78, and starch at 0.11. The calcium content was higher by 0.08% and carotene by 0.11 mg/kg, and raw lentils were lower by 0.94%. The analysis of the results revealed that the variation in the crops’ phenological phases depended on the moisture availability and the sowing time.

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