South African Journal of Animal Science
Print version ISSN 0375-1589
VAN NIEKERK, W.A.; HASSEN, Abubeker; VERMAAK, P.J. and COERTZE, R.J.. Influence of species/cultivar and season on the quality of Atriplex grown at different sites in South Africa. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 238-241. ISSN 0375-1589.
Atriplex species/cultivars [Atriplex nummularia, A. canescens (Santa Rita) and A. canescens (Field Reserve 1)] were compared in terms of chemical composition and in vitro digestibility. The plant material was sampled at different seasons (autumn and winter) and from different sites (Hatfield in the Gauteng Province and Mier and Lovedale, both in the Northern Cape Province) and were analysed for crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and in vitro digestibility (IVOMD). The CP and IVOMD of the leaves were higher than the stem for the Atriplex species. Leaf percentage for the autumn samples was not affected by species at Hatfield and Mier, but A. canescens (Field Reserve 1) had lower leaf percentage at Lovedale as well as for winter samples at Hatfield. At Lovedale, however, A. nummularia had the highest leaf : stem ratio compared to A. canescens (Santa Rita) and A. canescens (Field Reserve 1). Atriplex nummularia had a higher CP concentration than A. canescens (Field Reserve 1) and A. canescens (Santa Rita) at both Mier and Lovedale, but species/cultivar had no effect on CP concentration at Hatfield. Autumn samples had a higher CP concentration than winter samples at both Mier and Lovedale, but season had no effect on the N concentration at Hatfield. Atriplex nummularia had a lower NDF and higher IVOMD concentration compared to A. canescens (Santa Rita) and A. canescens (Field Reserve 1). Autumn samples were less fibrous and more digestible than winter samples. Atriplex nummularia seems to be better in terms of its nutritive value compared to A. canescens (Santa Rita) and A. canescens (Field Reserve 1), with better quality forage in autumn than winter.
Keywords : Chemical composition; drought tolerant; fodder; salt bush; shrubs.