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Bio-fuels are considered to be cheap, sustainable and more environmental friendly. Management considerations including sowing method and suitable cultivar have considerable effect on the dry matter yield of plants which in turns influenced the bio-fuel yield. Field experiment was conducted during 2016 and 2017 17 to assess the impact of sowing methods and cultivars on biomass production, biomass composition and methane production from sorghum bicolor. The ridge sowing performed better and resulted in taller plants with maximum diameter and leaves, dry matter and methane yield ha-1. Moreover, the sowing methods had non-significant effect on protein, sugar, ash, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and lignin contents and specific methane yield. In case of cultivars Jawar-2011 performed significantly better with maximum plant height, leaves, dry matter production, protein and ash concentration and methane ha-1 as compared to other cultivars. In conclusion, ridge sowing and cultivar Jawar-2011 may be opted owing to high biomass production for increasing the methane yield ha-1. Keywords: Sorghum biomass, biofuel, renewable energy, anaerobic digestion, chemical composition, methane yield.
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INTRODUCTION
The energy consumption and demands are increasing rapidly
around the globe, owing to ever blooming population and
development of economies (Zhou et al., 2011). Nonetheless,
fossil fuel reserves are continuously diminishing therefore,
this has increased the research some alternative energy
sources and development different other energy production,
processes. Methane production through an-aerobic digestion
is one of prime energy source that can be used for generation
of heat and power. Different kind of biomass are used globally
for the sustainable methane production including, solid waste
of municipals, (Hartmann and Ahring, 2006), agriculture
waste (Sakar et al., 2009), carcasses of animals (Masse et al.,
2008) and variable bio-energy crops (Amon et al., 2007).
Amid bio-energy crops sorghum is being used around the
globe for energy production (Han et al., 2012; Yu et al.,
2012). Sorghum crop has short life cycle, great resistance
against a-biotic stress (Habyarimana et al., 2009), and lower
fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation requirements (Sher et al.,
2012; Serna-Saldivar et al., 2012) and it can also easy grown
in different climatic conditions (Rao et al., 2012).
Consequently, is promising source of energy production to
meet the blooming energy needs (Reddy et al., 2005).
Management considerations including planting methods and
cultivation of suitable cultivars have significant effect on the
biomass production and quality. In-appropriate sowing
method like broadcast and flat sowing results in poor
germination and stand establishment which consequently
affects the final grain and biomass yield of maize and
sorghum. Therefore, the improved planting methods like
ridge and bed sowing increased the seed germination and
helps plant in utilizations of light, land and other inputs more
effectively as compared to conventional sowing methods
(Quanqi et al., 2008). Moreover, ridge and raised bed
improves the root growth owing to apposite soil conditions
which resulting in a substantial increase in water and nutrient
uptake take thereby, more biomass yield of maize (Bengough
et al., 2011). Ride and bed sowing remarkably increased the
grain and dry matter production as compared to conventional
broadcasting and line sowing (Abdullah et al., 2008; Bakht et
al., 2011; Khan et al., 2012).
Similarly, selection of suitable cultivar considerably
influences the biomass yield, chemical composition which
consequently influences the methane yield. Likewise,
Pak. J. Agri. Sci., Vol. 57(1), 43-51; 2020
ISSN (Print) 0552-9034, ISSN (Online) 2076-0906
DOI: 10.21162/PAKJAS/20.7112
http://www.pakjas.com.pk
IMPACT OF PLANTING METHODS ON BIOMASS PRODUCTION,
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND METHANE YIELD
OF SORGHUM CULTIVARS
Muhammad Umer Chattha1, Muhammad Umair Hassan1, Imran Khan1,*, Muhammad Bilal
Chattha2, Muhammad Aamer3, Muhammad Nawaz4, Shakeel A. Anjum1, Umair Ashraf5 and
Mina Kharal6
1Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 2Institute of Agricultural Sciences,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; 3Research Center on Ecological Sciences, Jiangxi Agricultural University,
Nanchang, China; 4College of Agriculture, Bahadur Campus Layyah, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan,
Pakistan; 5Department of Botany, University of Education (Lahore), Faisalabad Campus, Faisalabad, Pakistan;
6Department of Management Sciences, National Textile University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
*Corresponding authors email: drimran@uaf.edu.pk
Bio-fuels are considered to be cheap, sustainable and more environmental friendly. Management considerations including
sowing method and suitable cultivar have considerable effect on the dry matter yield of plants which in turns influenced the
bio-fuel yield. Field experiment was conducted during 2016 and 2017 17 to assess the impact of sowing methods and cultivars
on biomass production, biomass composition and methane production from sorghum bicolor. The ridge sowing performed
better and resulted in taller plants with maximum diameter and leaves, dry matter and methane yield ha-1. Moreover, the sowing
methods had non-significant effect on protein, sugar, ash, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and lignin
contents and specific methane yield. In case of cultivars Jawar-2011 performed significantly better with maximum plant height,
leaves, dry matter production, protein and ash concentration and methane ha-1 as compared to other cultivars. In conclusion,
ridge sowing and cultivar Jawar-2011 may be opted owing to high biomass production for increasing the methane yield ha-1.
Keywords: Sorghum biomass, biofuel, renewable energy, anaerobic digestion, chemical composition, methane yield.
Chattha, Hassan, Khan, Chattha, Aamer, Nawaz, Anjum, Ashraf & Kharal
44
cultivars differed significantly in terms of biomass, which
resultantly influenced the bio-fuel yield (Zhao et al., 2009;
Hassan et al., 2018). Likewise, sorghum genotypes have
remarkable variations for chemical composition (Miron et al.,
2005; Hassan et al., 2018). The compositional attributes,
including proteins, ADF, NDF lignin contents and, sugar and
ash contents considerably affected the biomass digestibility
and methane yield (Mahmood et al., 2015). Moreover, the
cultivars also differed significantly in terms of specific
methane yield (SMY) and methane yield (ha-1) (Tatah et al.,
2007). All these explanations suggested that sowing method
and cultivar have substantial effect on dry biomass
productivity and bio-energy production. Therefore, selection
of suitable sowing method and cultivar is necessary to get
good biomass yield for maximizing the methane yield. In
Pakistan there is no information available about the influence
of planting methods and cultivars on dry biomass production,
compositional traits and methane productivity. Therefore, the
proposed investigation was executed to determine the impact
of diverse plant methods and variable cultivars on biomass
production, composition of biomass and methane production
of sorghum bicolor.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experimental site: The current study was performed in 2016
and 2017 at Post-Graduate Agricultural Research, Station,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. The soil at
experimental site was sandy loam and averagely comprising
of 0.89% organic matter, 0.03% nitrogen, 6.43 ppm
phosphorus, and 186 ppm potassium, and had 7.95 pH. The
soil characteristics were determined by the customary
protocols of Homer and Pratt (1961). The mean monthly
minimum, and maximum temperature, humidity and total rain
fall from May to August over the two years are presented in
Table 1.
Experimental details and crop husbandry: The RCBD split
plot design was employed with four sowing methods
(Broadcasting, line, ridge and bed sowing) as the main plot
and three sorghum cultivars (JS-263, Jawar-2011 and YS-
2016) was allotted to sub plot with three replications. After
harvesting of wheat crop, a presoaking irrigation was applied
to field, after that when soil reached to workable moisture two
cultivation followed by planking was done to prepare the seed
bed. The sowing was done by broadcast method, line sowing,
ridge sowing and bed sowing respectively and seed was used
rate of 75 kg ha-1. The rides and beds were prepared by ridge
and bed maker. The fertilizer nitrogen (N) and phosphorus
was used at 60 and 40 kg ha-1. The 100% P and 50% N was
applied to crop as basal dosage rest of 50% was applied with
first irrigation. The urea (46%) and di-ammonium phosphate
46% P and 18%) was utilized as sources of N and P. Standard
cultural practices, including irrigation application, weeding
and pest control were done for better crop stand.
Sampling and data collection: Leaf area meter was used to
measure the leaf area and leaf-area index (LAI) was
calculated as ratio of leaf and land area (Watson (1952).
Furthermore, leaf-area duration and crop growth-rates were
determined by protocols of (Hunt, 1978). Similarly, first LAI,
LAD, and CGR was recorded after 40 days of sowing, and
rest of the measurements were taken, with ten days’ interval.
Moreover, fifteen plants were harvested and plant height and
stem dia-meter were measured and leaves were calculated and
averaged. The experimental plots were harvested with sickle
and sun dried and weighed to determine the dry matter
production/plot and converted into t ha-1.
Biomass chemical analysis: The collected sorghum samples
were dried and grinded to determine the various attributes.
The contents of protein and ash in sorghum samples were
measured by the methods of AOAC (1990). Moreover, sugar
concentration was measured by the procedure of Dubois et al.
(1956). The concentration of acid-detergent fibers (ADF)
were determined by protocols of Georing and Vansoest,
(1970), and neutral-detergent fibers (NDF) and lignin were
determined with methods of Vansoest et al. (1991). The
methane production from biomass samples were measured by
Bioprocess Control’s AMPTS. The slurry of cattle was used
as bacterial source for an-aerobic digestion of bio-mass
samples. The digester had the capacity of 400 ml, we used the
16 g substrate and then the made volume up to 400 ml. After
that N gas was used to perch the digesters to create the an-
aerobic conditions. The digesters were kept in water bath and
temperature was kept constant at 37°C though out the
digestion period. The samples of sorghum biomass were
allowed to digest for twenty-eight days and methane
production on every day was recorded by computerized
system. The amount of volatile solids in each samples was
determined to calculate the amount of SMY produced by each
sample. In the end the SMY produced by each biomass
samples were mathematically transformed into ha-1 basis.
Table 1. Prevailing weather conditions during 2016 and 2017.
Months
Monthly average
maximum
temperature (°C)
Monthly average
minimum
temperature (°C)
Rainfall (mm)
Relative
Humidity (%)
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
May
39.8
41.1
25.6
26.0
32.7
33.5
25.0
10.1
28.8
29.8
June
40.2
39.8
28.5
27.3
34.4
33.5
39.9
41.6
38.9
44.5
July
36.6
38.5
27.4
28.9
32.0
33.7
193.5
161.4
59.6
70.0
August
35.7
38.1
26.5
28.6
31.1
33.4
48.1
66.0
62.2
68.9
Planting methods of sorghum
45
Statistical analysis: The date on all the collected traits were
analyzed by analysis of variance technique and least
significant different test (5% probability) was used to
determine the differences amid the treatment means.
RESULTS
Growth attributes and dry matter yield: The variable planting
methods and genotypes had substantiated influence on the
LAI, LAD and CGR. In all planting methods maximum LAI
was observed 70 days after sowing (DAS), nevertheless,
maximum LAI was documented in ridge sowing, whereas the
lowest was recorded observed in broadcast sowing (Fig. 1).
Likewise, maximum LAD and CGR was attained 60-70DAS,
nonetheless, highest LAD and CGR was recorded in ridge
sowing, whilst lowest LAD and CGR was found in broadcast
method (Fig 1). In case of cultivars, maximum LAI was also
observed after 70DAS, however, highest LAI (4.88, 4.68) was
Figure 1. Influence of sowing methods on LAI (a, b), LAD (c, d) and CGR (e, f) of sorghum bicolor.
Chattha, Hassan, Khan, Chattha, Aamer, Nawaz, Anjum, Ashraf & Kharal
46
exhibited by the Jawar-2011 while lowest LAI (4.45, 4.31)
was attained by JS-263 (Fig. 2). Likewise, maximum LAD
and CGR was observed 60-70DAS; moreover, the highest
LAD and CGR showed by Jawar-2011 followed by YS-2016,
whilst lowest exhibited by JS-263 amongst the cultivars.
The variable sowing techniques and genotypes had
remarkable impact on the growth characters including the
plant height, leaves/plant and stem dia-meter (Table 2). The
tallest plants with more leaves and stem dia-meter was
recorded from the plant sown on ridges, followed by bed sown
Figure 2. Influence of cultivars on LAI (a, b), LAD (c, d) and CGR (e, f) of sorghum bicolor.
Planting methods of sorghum
47
sorghum, while shorter plants with lowest and stem diameter
was observed in plots sown by broadcast method. Ridge
sowing was remained at top with maximum dry matter yield
(16.43 t ha-1, 16.10 t ha-1) while broadcasting remained at
lower position with respect to dry matter yield (12.65 t ha-1,
12.33 t ha-1). As for the cultivars, taller plants with more
leaves and thicker stems was observed in Jawar-2011, that
was statistically comparable with the YS-2016, while shorter
plants with lowest leaves and thinner stems were observed in
JS-263 (Table 2). Jawar-2011 had maximum dried biomass
yield (15.42 t ha-1, 15.09 t ha-1) that was remained same with
was YS-2016, and cultivar JS-263 gave the lowest dried
biomass yield (13.87 t ha-1, 13.54 t ha-1) (Table 2).
Chemical composition of biomass: The variable sowing
techniques had no significant impact the composition
characters including, protein, sugar, ash, ADF, NDF and
lignin concentration, whereas the cultivars had considerable
effect on these attributes. The maximum protein
concentration was exhibited by Jawar-2011 that was
statistically at par with YS-2016, whereas the lowest was
recorded in the biomass of JS-263 (Table 3). Conversely,
highest sugar and ash concentration was recorded in JS-263,
followed by YS-2016, while lowest was found in Jawar-2011.
Moreover, highest ADF, NDF and lignin concentration was
recorded for Jawar-2011 afterwards, YS-2016 and lowest
ADF, NDF and lignin concentration was recorded in the
biomass of JS-263 (Table 4).
Specific methane yield and methane yield ha-1: The planting
techniques had non-significant influence on SMY while,
cultivars had significant effect on SMY. In case of cultivars
maximum SMY was exhibited by JS-263, followed by YS-
2016, whereas lowest SMY was produced Jawar-2011.
Moreover, planting methods and cultivars significantly
affected the methane yield ha-1 basis. Ridge sowing produced
the maximum methane yield (ha-1), followed by bed sown
sorghum whereas the lowest methane yield ha-1was observed
in broadcast sowing methods. As for cultivars highest
methane yield ha-1 was recorded in Jawar-2011, after that in
YS-2016, whilst lowest methane yield ha-1 was exhibited by
the JS-263.
Table 2. Effect of sowing methods and cultivar on growth attributes and dry matter yield (t ha-1) of sorghum bicolor.
Plant height (cm)
Stem diameter (cm)
Leaves per plant
Dry matter yield t ha-1
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
Sowing methods
Broadcast
201c
196c
1.14d
1.12d
10.81c
10.52c
12.65c
12.33c
Line sowing
213b
207bc
1.25c
1.20c
12.42b
12.12b
14.57b
14.25b
Ridge sowing
229a
225a
1.48a
1.43a
13.88a
13.88a
16.43a
16.10a
Bed sowing
221ab
214ab
1.36b
1.32b
13.34a
13.02ab
15.26b
14.93b
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
11.66
14.06
0.036
0.06
0.75
0.93
1.09
1.10
Cultivars
JS-263
210b
204c
1.25b
1.22b
12.12b
11.90b
13.87c
13.54b
Jawar-2011
223a
217a
1.35a
1.32a
13.09a
12.92a
15.42a
15.09a
YS-2016
215ab
210b
1.32a
1.27b
12.63ab
12.33b
14.89b
14.59a
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
8.51
5.68
0.04
0.04
0.61
0.53
0.52
0.53
SM×CV
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
Means in column have same letters do not differed significantly at 5% p level
Table 3. Effect of sowing methods and cultivar on protein, sugar and ash concentration of sorghum bicolor.
Protein (%)
Sugar (%)
Ash (%)
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
Sowing methods
Broadcast
9.65
9.54
10.05
10.55
7.56
7.73
Line sowing
9.97
9.73
10.62
10.52
7.74
7.56
Ridge sowing
10.4
10.3
11.21
11.10
7.80
8.11
Bed sowing
10.1
10.8
10.82
10.75
7.83
7.83
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
Cultivars
JS-263
9.15b
9.02b
10.09b
9.99b
8.23a
8.17a
Jawar-2011
10.6a
10.5a
11.28a
11.17a
7.28c
7.23c
YS-2016
10.3a
10.2a
10.65ab
10.55b
7.69b
8.02b
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
SM×CV
0.52
NS
0.48
NS
0.71
NS
0.61
NS
0.1
NS
0.13
NS
Means in column have same letters do not differed significantly at 5% p level
Chattha, Hassan, Khan, Chattha, Aamer, Nawaz, Anjum, Ashraf & Kharal
48
Figure 3. Influence of sowing methods (A) and cultivars
(B) on specific methane yield of sorghum bicolor.
Figure 4. Influence of sowing methods (A) and cultivars on
methane yield ha-1 (B) basis of sorghum bicolor.
DISCUSSION
The planting methods and cultivars had significant effect on
growth attributes, including LAI, LAD, CGR, plant height,
leaves and stem girth. In case of planting methods maximum
LAI was exhibited by ridge sowing, while minimum was
observed in broadcasting method. Ridge sowing provides
apposite soil conditions including, proper moisture
availability and aeration for emergence of seeds that leads to
more plant population as compared to broadcasting (Abdullah
et al., 2008; Bakht et al., 2011). Likewise, proper air
circulation and water availability improved the root growth,
which in turns improved the uptakes of water and nutrients
resulting in higher LAI (Fig. 1, 2). LAI is the important
assimilatory system of crop, which captures the light for
carbon assimilations; therefore, the higher LAI provides more
area for fixation for light which resultantly produced more
CGR. Thus, higher CGR in ridge sowing can be attributed to
more LAI as compared to other sowing methods. Likewise,
higher LAD was also reported in ridge sowing that was also
due to higher LAI. Likewise, Hussain et al. (2010) and Khan
et al. (2012), also noticed the highest LAI, LAD and CGR in
ridge sowing for maize crop as compared to flat sowing.
Moreover, taller plant, with more stem diameter and
leaves/plants was also recorded in ridge sowing, while sowing
by broadcast method performed feebly. The bigger and better
assimilatory system owing to higher LAI and CGR,
resultantly, produced the taller and thicker plant with more
leaves. These findings are same as reported by Ahmad et al.
(2012) and Afzal et al. (2013), also noticed the cultivars
behaved differently for the growth characters.
Table 4. Effect of sowing methods and cultivar on acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber and lignin contents
of sorghum bicolor.
ADF (%)
NDF (%)
Lignin (%)
2016
2017
2016
2017
2016
2017
Sowing methods
Broadcast
37.71
38.81
56.02
56.10
5.10
5.16
Line sowing
38.13
39.18
56.51
56.51
5.12
5.25
Ridge sowing
39.08
40.07
55.97
56.05
5.23
5.32
Bed sowing
38.52
39.61
55.21
55.27
5.16
5.32
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
Cultivars
JS-263
36.05b
37.87b
50.40c
50.48b
4.81b
5.08b
Jawar-2011
40.35a
41.00a
59.38a
59.40a
5.37a
5.41a
YS-2016
38.67a
39.39ab
58.00b
58.07a
5.28a
5.29ab
LSD (p ≤ 0.05)
2.033
1.67
1.37
1.36
0.22
0.27
SM×CV
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
NS
Means in column have same letters do not differed significantly at 5% p level
Planting methods of sorghum
49
Cultivars also had considerable difference for LAI, LAD, and
CGR. The highest LAI was experiential in Jawar-2011 that
was due to maximum leaves and maximum lead width as
compared to various other genotypes. Similarly, Khan et al.
(2012), and Wiedenfeld and Matocha (2010), also noticed the
remarkable difference among cultivars of maize as well as
sorghum for the LAI. Similarly, Jawar-2011 also had the
highest LAD and CGR amid the cultivars that can be ascribed
to more LAI in Jawar-2011 compared to the other test
genotypes. Likewise, Khan et al. (2012) also noticed the
substantial variations among the maize and sorghum cultivars
for LAI and CGR. Cultivar Jawar-2011 produced
significantly taller plant, with maximum stem diameter and
leaves. The taller plant with maximum leaves and stem
diameter in Jawar-2011 can be attributed to higher LAI,
which provided the more area for fixation of light, thus,
produced more assimilates and resulting in better growth.
Similarly, Kusaksiz (2010) and Ahmad et al. (2012) also
noticed that cultivars behaved differently for plant heights,
leaves and stem girth respectively. The sowing on ridges
produced the maximum dry matter yield as compared to other
methods, while, in case of cultivars maximum dry matter
yield was exhibited by Jawar-2011 (Table 1). The higher dry
matter in ridge sowing was the result of better soil conditions
created by ridge sowing, which increased the water and
nutrient uptake by the plant to produce maximum LAI which
was responsible for the maximum CGR production and
consequently higher dry matter yield. Similarly, Khan et al.
(2012) and Bakht et al. (2011) also observed highest biomass
yield in ridge sowing as paralleled to broadcasting and bed
sowing. The higher dry biomass production in Jawar-2011
can be ascribed to more LAI, which in turns enhanced the
CGR and consequently dry biomass yield. Previous
researchers also reported the noticeable differences amid
maize and sorghum genotypes for the dry matter yield
(Ahmad et al., 2012; Mahmood et al., 2015).
The variable sowing techniques had no significant impact on
the compositional characters of biomass. Similarly, Ahmad et
al. (2012) and Afzal et al. (2013), noticed that the planting
techniques had no impact on the compositional characters i.e.,
protein, fibers, lignin, and ash contents. Moreover, cultivars
had significant effect on the chemical composition of
biomass. The highest protein concentration was observed in
Jawar-2011 amid cultivars. This higher protein concentration
can be ascribed to more leaves per plant, because leaves are
considered to be richer in protein as compared to other plant
parts. Earlier researches reported that leaves are rich source
of protein and found the remarkable variations amid different
genotypes for protein contents (Miron et al., 2006; Beck et
al., 2007). Conversely, JS-263 had higher sugar concentration
amongst the cultivars. The higher sugar concentration in JS-
263 can be ascribed to its genetic potential for accumulation
of sugar. Likewise, Dolciotti et al. (1998) and Mahmood et
al. (2015) also recorded the significant differences amid
cultivars for sugar contents. The higher ADF, NDF and lignin
concentration was exhibited by the Jawar-2011, while lowest
was exhibited by the JS-263. The cultivar Jawar-2011 had
maximum ADF, NDF and lignin can be due to more stem
proportion which consequently increased the structural fiber
and lignin concentration. Similarly, Beck et al. (2007) and
Hassan et al. (2018) also noticed that cultivars had remarkable
differences for the ADF, NDF and lignin concentration.
Planting method had no effect on the specific methane yield
(SMY) whilst tested cultivars had a significant impact on the
SMY. Cultivar JS-263 exhibited highest SMY, among
cultivars while, Jawar-2011 exhibited lowest SMY. The
higher SMY in JS-263 can due to less lignin and structural
fiber contents, which enhanced the digestibility of biomass
and resultantly produced more SMY. The outcomes of our
study are same with outcomes of Tatah et al. (2007) and
Mahmood et al. (2015), they also found noticeable alterations
among the cultivars for SMY. Ridge sowing performed
superiorly with highest methane yield ha-1 owing to maximum
dry matter yield ha-1. In case of cultivars, Jawar-2011
produced highest methane yield ha-1. The higher dry matter
yield ha-1 basis was responsible for the higher methane yield
ha-1 in Jawar-2011. Earlier researchers also reported the
significant differences amongst cultivars for methane yield
ha-1 (Mahmood and Honermeier, 2012; and Mahmood et al.,
2015).
Conclusion: In conclusion, planting methods and cultivars
had substantiated influence on growth, biomass production
and methane yield. Ridge sowing was superiorly better in
terms of growth, biomass production and methane yield.
Cultivar Jawar-2011 performed significantly better and had
better growth, with higher biomass production and methane
yield. Consequently, ridge sowing and cultivar Jawar-2011
may be used to get the higher dry matter production in order
to increase the methane yield.
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[Received 02 Jun 2018; Accepted 17 May- 2019; Published
(online) 16 Nov 2019]
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