Investigation of Forage Quality of Vetiveria zizanioides in Semi-Steppe Region of Maravehtappeh, Golestan Province, Iran

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article


1 M.Sc. Student of Rangeland Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Rangeland Management Department, University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran (Corresponding Author)

3 Assistant Professor of Rangeland Management Department, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

4 M.Sc. of Agriculture Organization of Golestan Province, Iran


Abstract. Information on forage quality in phenological stage could help range managers to choose suitable grazing method to achieve higher animal performance without detriment to vegetation. Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) is a non-native perennial grass that was introduced to the Iran in 2008. This plant is a multi use species that could be considered from different viewpoints. Thus, its forage quality in three phenological stages (vegetative, flowering and maturity) was investigated. Samples of each stage were collected and analyzed for 7 quality traits such as Crude Protein (CP), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), Dry Matter Digestibility (DMD), Metabolizable Energy (ME), Digestible Energy (DE), Ash content (Ash) and Total Digestible Nutrient (TDN). Data were statically analyzed using One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and mean comparisons were done by Duncan method. The results indicate that there was a significant difference among phenological stages for all the traits (p<0.01). As the plant age increased, the quality values including CP (from 8.89% to 5.25%), DMD (34.79% to 31.63%), ME (3.91 to 3.38 MJ/Kg), Ash (6.7% to 5.5 %,), DE (1.71 to 1.64 Mcals/Kg) and TDN (23.07% to 20.79%) were decreased while ADF was increased (from 63.72% to 65.7%). This led to the reduction of Vetiver grass forage quality. Because of lower values of CP, ME and DMD (except vegetative stage) and higher values of ADF, it was suggested that this species had no prominent place in the ruminants' diet. However, it played important roles in soil conservation and it may be complementary to the native vegetation because it is available at different times of the year considering its phenology and growth season.


Ahmadi, Z., 2004. Determination and comparison of qualitative properties and soluble carbohydrate content of three vegetative rangeland species in different phonologic stages in Vardavard, M.Sc. thesis of range management, University of Tehran. (In Persian).

Akbarian, A. and Koocheki, A., 1992. Investigation on effects of different harvesting stages on growth, productivity and quality of some barley's varieties. Jour. Pejouhesh and Sazandegi, 15:40 -43. (In Persian).

Akhzari, D., Alireza Ildoromi, A. and Dashti Marvili, M., 2013. Effects of salinity on seedling growth and physiological traits of Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides Stapf.). Jour. Rangeland Science, 3(3):191-198.

Ammar, H., 2002. Composition quimica, digestibilidady cinetica de fermentacion ruminal in vitro de arbustos, Ph.D. tesis, Universidad de Leon, Spain.

AOAC, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 1980. Official Methods of Analysis. 13th edn. AOAC, Washington, DC. Arzani, H., 1994. Some aspects of estimating short term and long-term rangeland carrying capacity in the Western Division of New South Wales, Ph.D. Thesis, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Arzani, H., 1994. Some aspects of estimating short term and long-term rangeland carrying capacity in the Western Division of New South Wales, Ph.D. Thesis, University of New South Wales, Australia. (In Persian).

Arzani, H., Zohdi, M., Fish, E., Zahedi Amiri, G. H., Nikkhah, A. and Wester, D., 2004. Phenological effects on forage quality of five grass species. Jour. Range Management, 57:624-629. (In Persian).

Arzani, H., Basiri, M., Khatibi, F. and Ghorbani, G., 2006. Nutritive value of some Zagros Mountain rangeland species. Jour. Small Ruminant Research, 65:128-135. (In Persian).

Arzani, H., Motamedi (Torkan), J., Jafari, M., Farahpoor, M. and Zare Chahoki, M. A., 2013. Classification of forage quality index in highland rangelands of Taleghan. Iranian Jour. Range and Desert Research, 20(2): 250-271. (In Persian).

Arzani, H., Torkan, J., Jafari, M. and Nikkhah, A., 2001. Investigation on effects of phenological stages and environmental factors (soil and climate) on forage quality of some important range species. Jour. Agricultural Science, 32: 385-397. (In Persian).

Asaadi, A. M. and Khoshnood Yazdi, A., 2011. Phenological stage effects on forage quality of four forbs species. Jour. Food, Agriculture & Environment, 9 (2): 380-384. (In Persian).

Azarnivand, H., Joneidi, H., Jarari, M. and Nikou, S., 2006. The study of Forage Quality of Smirnovia iranica in different phenological stages in sandy areas-case-study: Band-e-Rig-Kashan. Desert Jour., 11(2):1-10. (In Persian).

Ball, D. M., Collins, M., Lacefield, G. D., Martin, N. P., Mertens, D. A., Olson, K. E., Putnam, D. H., Undersander, D. J. and Wolf, M. W., 2001. Understanding Forage Quality. American Farm Bureau Federation Publication 1-01, Park Ridge, IL.

Behnamfar, K., Siadat, S. A. and Salehe, M. H., 2009. Comparison of nutritional values of important range species in semi warm steppe rangeland of Khouzestan. Iranian Jour. Range and Desert Research, 16(1):86-95. (In Persian).

Boufennara, S., Lopez, S., Bousseboua, H., Rodriguez, R. B. and Bouazza, L., 2012. Chemical composition and digestibility of some browse plant species collected from Algerian arid rangelands. Spanish Jour. Agric. Res., 10: 88-98.

Buxton, D. R., Mertens, D. R. and Fisher, D. S., 1996. Forage quality and ruminant utilization, In Moser, L.E. et al. (eds.). Cool-season Forage Grasses. ASA, CSSA and SSSA, Madison, USA, pp: 229-266.

Caballero, R., Alzueta, C., ortiz, T., Rodriguez, M. L., Carmen, B. and Almudenna, R., 2001. Carbohydrate and Protein Fraction of Fresh and Dried Common Vetch at Three Maturity Stage. Agronomy Jour., 93: 1006-1013.

Chen, H., 1998. The overview of vetiver research and cultivation in China. Jour. Water and Soil Conservation, 18(3): 77-81.

Daalkhaijav, D. and Daltanzul, Ts., 2000. Chemical content and rumen degradability of desert steppe pasture, Research institute of animal husbandry, Zaisan, Ulaanbaator 10153. PP: 1-7.

Fahey, J. R. C., 1994. Forage quality, evaluation and utilization, American society of Agronomy, USA, 998 p.

Fonnesbeck, P. V., Clark, D. H., Garret, W. N. and Speth, C. F., 1984. Predicting energy utilization from alfalfa hay from the Western Region. Proc. Amer. Soc. Anim. Sci.. (Western Section), 35:305-308.

Ghadaki, M. B., Vansoest, P. J., Mcdowel, R. C. and Malekpour, B., 1974. Composition and in vitro digestibility of some arid zone forage from Iran. 12th International Grassland Congress. Moscow. Russia, 3(1): 542-549.

Ghanbari, A. and Sahraei, M., 2012. Determination of nutritional value in three forage species in three phenological stages in Sabalan Rangelands, Ardebil, Iran. Jour. Rangeland Science, 2(2): 449– 457. (In Persian).

Gholizadehm, G., 2012. Evaluation of the effects of topography on the survival of Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) in the Kechik watershed, MSc thesis, Gorgan University of agricultural sciences and natural resources. (In Persian).


Givens, D. I., Everington, J. M. and Adamson, A. H., 1990. The nutritive value of spring grown herbage produced on farms throughout England and Wales over 4 years. Π. The prediction of apparent digestibility In vivo from various laboratory measurement. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol, 27: 173–181.

Goorchi, T., 1995. Determination of chemical composition and dry matter digestibility of dominate species in Isfahan Province, M.Sc. thesis. Industrial University of Isfahan, Iran. (In Persian).

Heshmati, G. A., Baghani, M. and Bazrafshan, O., 2006. Comparison of nutritional values of 11 rangeland species in eastern part of Golestan Province. Jour. Pajouhesh & Sazandegi, 73(4):90-95. (In Persian).

Holechek, J. L., Harbel, C. H., Pieper, R. D., 2001. Range management principles and practices, 4th edition, Prentice Hall Publication, 586 p.

Kaboli, S. H., 2001. Introduction of indices for determining forage quality in some rangeland species, M.Sc. thesis, University of Tehran. (In Persian).

Linn, J. G. and Martin, N. P., 1999. Forage quality tests and interpretations. The college of Agriculture, food and Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota, Extension service.

Maramaei, M., 2010. Evaluation of Vetiver grass technology as a erosion and sediment controller instrument in losseous area of eastern Golestan. Abstract Book of 6th national conference on watershed sciences and engineering. April 29-30, 2010. Noor. Iran. (In Persian).

Marinas, A., García-González, R. and Fondevila, M., 2003. The nutritive value of five pasture species occurring in the summer grazing ranges of the Pyrenees, Animal Science, 76: 461-469.

Mcdonald, P., Edvards, R. A., Greenhalgh, J. F. D. and Morgan, C. A., 1995. Animal Nutrition. 5th edn. Longman Scientific & Technical, New York, NY, 597 p.

Murray, R. B., Mayland, H. F. and Van Soest, P. J., 1978. Growth and nutritional value to cattle of grasses on cheatgrass range in southern Idaho. USDA For. Ser. Res. Pap. INT-199. ntermountain Forage and Range Exp. Sta., Ogden, Utah, USA.

Niknahad H. and Maramaei, M., 2011. Effects of land use changes on soil properties. Jour. Soil Management and Sustainable Production, 1(2):81-96. (In Persian).

Oddy, V. U., Robards, G. E. and Low, S. G., 1983. Predicion of In–vivo dry matter digestibility from the fibre and nitrogen content of a feed, In Feed Information and Animal production. Eds G.E. Robards and R.G. Packham. Common wealth Agricultural Bureau, Australia, 295-298.

Panahi, F., Assareh, M., Jafari, M., Jafari, A., Arzani, H., Tavili, A. and Zandi Esfahan, E., 2012. Phenological Effects on Forage Quality of Salsola arbuscula, Salsola orientalis and Salsola tomentosa in Three Habitats in the Central Part of Iran. Middle-East Jour. Scientific Research, 11 (6): 800-807. (In Persian).

Pascual, J. J., Fernandez, C., Diaz, J. R., Garces, C. and Rubert-Aleman, J., 2000. Voluntary intake and in vitro digestibility of different date-palm fractions by Murciano-Granadina (Capra hircus), Jour. Arid Environ, 45: 183-189.

Paterson, J., Cohran, R. and Klopfenstein, T., 1996. Degradable and undegradable protein response of cattle consuming forage based diets. Proc 3rd Grazing Livestock Nutrition Conference (Iudkins MB, Mc Collum III FT, Eds.). Proc. West. Sec. Am. Soc. Anim. Sci., 47 (1): 94-103.

Pingxiang, L., Chuntian, Z., Yincai, L., Fuhe, L., Xiaoliang, L. and Deqian,Y., 2003. Dynamic State of Nutrient Contents of Vetiver Grass. the 3rd International Vetiver Conference, Guangzhou, China, 293-296.

Pinkerton, B., 1996. Forage quality. Crop and soil environment science department, College of Agriculture, Forest and Life Science, Clemson University, Clemson, SC., pp:998.

Rayburn, E., 2002. Forage management. Sheep symposium, March, 2, 2002, Meadow Landspa.

Robles, A. B., Ruiz-Mirazo, J., Ramos, M. E. and González-Rebollar, J. L., 2008. Role of livestock grazing in sustainable use, naturalness promotion in naturalization of marginal ecosystems of southeastern Spain (Andalusia). In: Agroforestry in Europe, Current status and future prospects. Adv Agro forestry vol. 6 (Rigueiro-Rodríguez A, McAdam J, Mosquera-Losada MR, ed). Springer, Netherlands. pp: 211-231.

Standing Committee on Agriculture, 1990. Feeding standards for Australian livestock ruminants, CSIRO, Australian.

Stiven, F. D. and Fahey, G. C., 1994. Forage Quality Evaluation and Utilization. Based on The National Conference on Forage Quality Evaluation, and Utilization Held at The University of Nebraska Lincoln, on 13-15 April 1.

Stoddart, L. A., Smith, A. D. and Box, T. W., 1975. Range Management. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 532 p.

Torkan, J., 1999. Study of the effects of phonologic stages and environmental factors on forage quality of some rangeland species, MSc thesis, University of Tehran. (In Persian).

Truong, P. N., 1997. An overview on the applications of the vetiver grass system in Asia– pacific and Southern African region. Proc. Abstracts. International vetiver Workshop, Fuzhou, China, October 1997.

Van Soest, P. J., 1994. Nutritional ecology of the ruminant. Cornell Univ Press, Ithaca, NY.

Verdoodt, A., Mureithi, S. M., Ye, L. and VanRanst, E., 2009. Chronosequence analysis of two enclosure management strategies in degraded rangeland of semi-arid Kenya. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 129: 332-339.

Xia, H. P., AO, H. X. and He, D. Q., 1996. The effect of vetiver in soil improvement and the water and soil conservation. Tropical Geography, 16(3): 265-269.

White, L. M., 1983. Seasonal changes in yield, digestibility and crude protein of vegetative and floral tillers of two grasses. Jour. Range Management, 36:402-405.

Zohdi, M., 2001. Determination and comparison of quality of tissues and locating carbohydrates content in five rangeland species, M.Sc. thesis, University of Tehran. (In Persian).