Abstract: An experiment was conducted at the Agricultural Research Station of Eraghi Mahalleh, Gorgan, in Northern Iran. The aim of the experiment was to measure the nutritional value of foxtail millet forage grown in Northern Iran with different sowing dates and at different densities. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) was cultivated under different conditions of sowing date and plant density, using a factorial arrangement in a randomized completely design with 6 replications. The sowing dates as as first factor were July 1, 16 or 31, the plant densities as a second factor were 30, 45 or 60 plants m-2. The results showed that the sowing date and plant density had a significant effect on the content of NDF and ADF (p<0.05). When the various treatments were compared, the forage produced from millet grown with a sowing date of July 16 and a density of 30 plants m-2 contained the greatest amount of protein (119.3 g kg-1). The highest ash content (100 g kg-1) was obtained from plants grown with a sowing date of July 1 and a density of 45 plants m-2. The sowing date, the density and the interaction of these two factors did not have a significant effect on Ca and or P content of millet forage (p<0.05). The DMD of millet forage from different treatments varied between 418 and 589 g kg-1. Similarly, the Digestible Energy (DE) varied between 7.5 and 10.5 and the Metabolizable Energy (ME) between 6.0 and 8.7 MJ kg-1. The highest rate of rumen gas production was related to an incubation time of 12 h (46.8-58.8 mL/200 g DM). A sowing date of July 1 and a density of 60 plants m-2 are recommended to produce foxtail millet with optimal characteristics for animal nutrition in the climatic conditions of the Gorgan-Golestan province in Northern Iran. This is because these conditions led to the greatest production of dry matter and an optimal chemical composition (especially, with regard to the protein content).
Noutmohammad Torbatinejad, Serollah Galeshi and Taghi Ghoorchi, 2009. Evaluation by Chemical and in vitro Gas Production Techniques of Foxtail Millet Grown in Northern Iran . Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 8: 2662-2667.