The objective of this study was to compare twenty-five genotypes of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) in terms of yield (in 2000 - 2004) and quality performance (in 2000 - 2001) for animal feeding. The genotypes were evaluated for dry matter yield (DMY), crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), digestible dry matter (DDM), dry matter intake (DMI), relative feed value (RFV), total digestible nutrients (TDN), net energy-lactation (NEl), net energy-maintenance (NEm) and net energy-gain (NEg) content. There were significant differences in DMY (P < 0.01), CP, ADF, NDF, DDM, DMI, RFV (P < 0.05), TDN, NEl, NEm and NEg (P < 0.01) amongst the genotypes. The Rajah cultivar had the highest DMY (13629 kg ha-1) amongst the genotypes according to five year results. While the highest CP (15.94%), NDF (50.59%), DDM (68.68%), TDN (66.50%), NEl (0.70 Mcal/1b), NEm (0.76 Mcal/1b) and NEg (0.44 Mcal/1b) were determined in the L-818 line, the lowest ADF (25.96%) was also found in the L-818 line. The highest DMI (3.16%) was observed in the Hamua cultivar. The highest RFV was determined in the Tohum Islah ecotype (156), the Hamua (155), the Orbit (154) cultivars and the L-812 (154) line. Our results showed that there were large variations in terms of yield and quality performances amongst the red clover genotypes for animal feeding. The Rajah, L-832 (selected from wild forms) and Pawera had the highest yields amongst the genotypes. The L-818, L-812 lines (selected from wild forms), Tohum Islah ecotype, Lucrun and Redwent cultivars were superior in terms of forage quality properties (low in ADF and NDF and high CP, DDM, DMI, RFV, TDN, NEl, NEm, NEg) than the other red clover genotypes.
Key words: Red clover, genotypes, dry matter yield, crude protein, nutritive value.
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