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Abstract

The germination and root and shoot production, up to 24 weeks after emergence, of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) De Wit) and moringa {Moringa oleifera Lam.) were studied using randomized block (germination) and split-plot (tissue production) designs. No fertilizer (FO) and compound fertilizer (8-18-32) providing 40,90 and 160 kg/ha NPK (Fl) were the split plots. Maximum germination, 11 days after sowing was 95,1 and 90.2 (SED = 1.98; 17 df) for leucaena and moringa respectively. Moringa tended to be shallow rooted (26.8 cm vs 60.1 cm for leucaena, SED = 1.49; 5 df) but it had similar root biomass as leucaena (137.3 vs 132.8 g/m2, P>0.05). Shoot biomass (forage yield) was significantly higher (PcO.Ol ) for leucaena ( 196.4g mJ ) than for moringa (145.3 g/m2). However, the response of moringa to applied fertilizer was two (for root biomass) to five (for shoot biomass) times that of leucaena. It was concluded that, with its good establishment capacity and high responsiveness to fertilizer application, moringa has potential as a multipurpose tree for forage production.

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