An experiment was conducted at the faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences farm, University of Gadarif, Gadarif State, Sudan to evaluate dry matter yield and nutritive value of the stover of four local sorghum varieties (Bashier, Zahratelgadambalia, Butana and Arfagadamac). Dry matter yield, morphological traits and chemical composition were determined. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in dry matter yield and other morphological traits among varieties. Zahratelgadambalia had the highest dry matter yield (2520 kg/fed) and was 100%, 31% and 19% higher than Bashier, Butana and Arfagadamac varieties, respectively. It also had the highest stem height, stem weight and least in stem thickness. Arfagadamac was next to Zahratelgadambalia in dry matter yield and had the highest stem thickness. Butana was less productive than Zahratelgadambalia and Arfagadamac, but not significantly. Bashier was inferior to all varieties in dry matter yield and had the highest leaf: stem. Dry matter yield had a highly significant positive correlation with plant height (0.999) and positive correlation with stem weight (0.553), number of leaves/ plant and leaves weight. There were significant variations in chemical composition among sorghum varieties. Acid detergent fibre (ADF) was 46.4- 70.0%, neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was 59.9 - 79.3% and lignin was 9.2-13.5%. Butana variety stover had the least NDF and ADF among the four varieties. This indicated it was better in chemical composition and expected to be better in nutritive value unless other factors were not involved like anti nutritional factors.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated the nutritive value and dry matter yield of local sorghum varieties in Gadarif State, the most important region for sorghum production in Sudan. It contributes to the existing literature in the analysis of correlation between morphological traits and dry matter yield.
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