Enhancing crop-livestock systems: Unveiling the impact of leaf stripping on maize hybrid yield in Sundarbazar-Lamjung, Nepal

Giri Raj Paudel, Rajan Thapa


In local maize agro-ecosystems in Nepal leaf stripping is, historically, practiced as a source of fodder for livestock. However, its effects on hybrid maize have not been studied. The aim of this study was to determine how defoliation below the cob affects the grain and fodder production of hybrid maize and what value the stripped leaves have as fodder for ruminants. Seven hybrid maize cultivars were evaluated for their response to leaf stripping in a randomized complete block design with three replications in Sundarbazar, Lamjung, Nepal. Evaluation of phenological parameters, agronomic factors, cob properties, and grain yield revealed significant cultivar-related differences. While leaf stripping at grain silking stage had little or no impact on yield characteristics, the outcomes confirmed the significance of cultivar selection for the best grain and stover characteristics. Leaf stripping can be a clever way to increase ruminant's feed availability while maintaining grain output. The results of the study support the integration of leaf stripping as a sustainable management technique within crop-livestock systems, particularly in comparable agroecological zones. These findings provide smallholder farmers with useful advice for the use of green leaves as fodder during the grain silking stage of hybrid maize-based agricultural systems.


Defoliation, Fodder, Grain yield, Ruminants, Silking, Sustainable

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17170/kobra-202402239640

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