This experiment was under taken at Mechara Agricultural Research center of on- station site for two consecutive years of 2016 and 2017 cropping season. The aim of the research was to identify the best adaptable and high biomass and dry matter yielders from four ecotype of Desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) to demonstrate promising ecotypes for livestock producer’s community in the study area. Randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications was employed to evaluate the ecotypes. The result revealed that the agronomic performance of regeneration percentage, plot cover, plant vigor and leaf to stem ratio were not shown significant difference (P>0.05) between Desho grass lines. However, significantly difference (P<0.05) were observed in plant height and dry matter yield between four Desho grass lines. The highest dry matter yield were produced from Areka-DZF # 590 (28.74 t/ha), Kulumsa-DZF#592 (26.14 t/ha) and KK1-DZF # 591(23.59 t/ha) lines and produced 0.71, 0.66 and 0.59 leaf to stem ratio, respectively. The mean value of dry matter yield, biomass (herbage) yield and leaf to stem ratio was increased from first to second harvesting year. The dry matter yield had strongly positive correlation with morphological parameters of leaf to stem ratio (r=0.8; P<0.01), plant height (r=0.62; P<0.05), plot cover (r=75; P<0.05), and low correlation with biomass yield (r=0.2). Based on the result, Areka-DZF#590, Kulumsa-DZF-#592, and KK1-DZF#591 lines were well adapted and performed from Desho grass lines evaluated in this experiment. Therefore, these selected Desho grass lines should be further demonstrated and scaled-up at around Mechara Agricultural Research station and similar agro-ecologies of Hararghe areas.
Key words: Desho grass, dry matter yield, leaf to stem ratio, lines.
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