Hydroponic Forage Production and Water Use Efficiency of Some Forage Crops under Palestinian Conditions

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Jameel Safa, Taqwa
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An Najah National University
Abstract Hydroponic system is growing plants without soil, using continuous water flow. In this research, three hydroponic forage crops wheat (Triticum aestivum), beka (Vicia sativa L) and vetch (Vicia ervilia (L.) Willd) were investigated to green and dry biomass production, nutritive value, and the water use efficiency. Grains of all crops were placed in the planting trays. The seeding rates used in this experiment were 300g of each seed/ trays. Trays were irrigated manually with tap water twice a day at a fixed rate of 500 ml/ tray / day. Drained water out of irrigation was collected and measured for to compute water use and water use efficiency. Chemical analysis was performed at the faculty of agriculture labs and the center for chemical analysis of An Najah National University. The fresh fodder yields were 1.39, 1.23 and 0.91 Kg/tray for vetch, wheat and beka, respectively. Use of water was significantly different among the fodder crops. Water consumed was 2.41, 2.21 and 2.84 L/tray for wheat, beka and vetch, respectively. Water use efficiency for wheat, beka and vetch were 0.51, 0.41 and 0.49 Kg/L, respectively. Fat content was the highest in wheat fodder at the three days of measurement (6, 9 and 12). At day 6, 9 and 12 after seeding, dry matter was the highest for beka compared to vetch and wheat. Ash content at day 12 for wheat, beka and vetch was (3.13%, 3.75% and 5.24%), respectively. Fiber content was highest for wheat at day 9 (8.74%) and (14.7%) at day12. Highest crude protein content was observed in beka at day 12 (37.22%). Calcium content was highest for vetch at day 12 about (0.54%). At day 6, 9 and 12 after seeding, vetch was highest phosphorus content (0.05%). Under Palestinian condition, taking these results into consideration, hydroponic wheat, beka and vetch can be used as livestock feed, to increase the water use efficiency and quality of forages. Key words: Hydroponic, water use efficiency, forages, beka, vetch, nutritive value.
Hydroponic , water use efficiency , forages , beka , vetch , nutritive value