2. Improved forage cultivation for increased in fodder availability and climate change mitigation in the Savanna agro-ecological zone of northern Ghana
The study was conducted to investigate the biomass yield and quality of two forage species Brachiaria ruziziensis (B. ruziziensis) and Sorghum almum (S. almum) in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in two different locations (Bihinayili in the Savelugu District and Zanlerigu in the Nabdam District) in the Savanna agro-ecological zone of Ghana. Agronomic data were collected and representative samples of forage biomass taken at 60 days after planting to estimate dry matter yield and nutritive quality. The two-way interaction effect of forage species and experimental site was not significant for both agronomic and chemical parameters except for tiller number. The average leaf size was broader (P=0.006) in S. almum (299.0 cm2) than B. ruziziensis (85.0 cm2). Number of leaves per plant was higher (P=0.016) in B. ruziziensis (10.75). Number of tillers per plant in B. ruziziensis (9.62) was higher (P=0.001) than S. almum (2.88). Plant height was however, higher in S. almum (183.1 cm) than B. ruziziensis (90.1 cm). Dry matter yield of forages at 60 days after planting was higher (P<0.001) at Bihinayili (8.49 tons/ha) than that at Zanlerigu (2.23 tons/ha). The CP content of the forages at Bihinayili (89.7 g/kg DM) was also higher (P=0.018) than that at Zanlerigu (68.6 g/kg DM). Dry matter yield of B. ruziziensis (4.84 tons/ha) did not differ significantly from that of S. almum (5.88 tons/ha). In conclusion, B. ruziziensis and S. almum performed well within the Savanna agroecological zone and could enhance fodder supply and carbon sequestration.