Influence of cutting height and plant spacing on Sesbania (Sesbania aegyptiaca [Poir]) productivity under hyper-arid conditions in El-kharga Oasis, El-Wadi El-Gaded, Egypt

Document Type : Research Paper


Range Management Unit; Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt


Search for an adapted forage species for feed production under existing marginal lands and harsh conditions is needed to overcome sever feed shortage in Egypt. Sesbania, Sesbania aegyptiaca (Sesbania sesban, L) has shown potential for forage production and being included in grazing systems, especially on marginal lands and salt–affected soils. An experiment was conducted in the summer of 2004 and 2005 under artesian irrigated water conditions where four cutting heights (10, 20, 30, and 40 cm above ground level) and three plant spacing (10, 20 and, 30 cm between plants) were investigated. The highest average accumulated fresh and dry forage yield obtained from cutting at 10 cm from ground surface whereas the 40 cm cutting level produced the lowest yield and no significant difference was observed between 20 and 30 cm cutting levels. Highest yield was obtained from second cutting. The CP% in forage harvested from 10 cm spacing was highest followed by 20 and 30 cm spacing, respectively. Forage from 1st cutting had the highest CP% followed by 2nd and 3rd cutting. The response of CF% in Sesbania aegyptiaca to cutting level and time was opposite to those of CP %.