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What is Pakchong1 Super Napier ?
It is a Hybrid Napier Grass obtained by crossing Elephant Grass and Pearl Millet.
What are the advantages of Pakchong1 Super Napier ?
The main advantage of Pakchong1 Super Napier are
1. Pakchong1 Super Napier is the only variety in Asia giving highest crude protein (14-18%)
2. Pakchong1 Super Napier can give yield of 200 Tons per acre per year which makes it as “King of Napiers” in Asia.
3. 180 Tons per acre per year means a dairy farmer can easily rear 15 cows in one acre of land.
4. Farmers can save huge money because of high protein content (14-18%).
5. Highly suitable for silage because Pakchong1 Super Napier has WSC 18 (water soluble carbohydrate), so no need to add any additives while making silage.
SUPER NAPIER — The Department of Livestock Development in Thailand has come out with a new hybrid napier that is so outstanding, it might as well be called Super Napier. This was developed in six years by Dr. Krailas Kiyothong, an animal nutritionist and plant breeder, by crossing Pennisetum purpureum (the ordinary napier grass) and Pennisetum glaucum better known as Pearl Millet. This new napier grows very fast. The 59-days-old plants in photo are already about 10 feet tall. One hectare of this Super Napier can produce 500 tons, harvested four times in one year. That’s enough to feed 50 dairy cattle for one year. Photo shows from left: Danilo V. Fausto of the Talavera Dairy Cooperative in Nueva Ecija, Dr. Krailas Kiyothong who developed the hybrid napier, Zac B. Sarian and Norachong Deepraman, the farmer who is growing the Super Napier on 20 hectares for sale to dairy farmers.
A new hybrid napier is the talk of the town among dairy farmers in Thailand. The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) in that country calls it Pakchong 1 napier but it might as well be called Super Napier.
Why? Because it is so outstanding. It is very high-yielding. One rai, a common measurement of land in Thailand (40 meters x 40 meters or 1,600 square meters), can yield 20 tons of fresh herbage per cutting. And since four harvests can be made in one year, that means one rai can produce 80 tons. That also means that one hectare is capable of producing 500 tons in one year, which is enough to feed 50 dairy cows for 12 months.
To pursue it further, 16 hectares could produce enough grass to feed 800 dairy cattle in one year! And that has quite excited members of a Philippine delegation that observed the latest trends in dairying in Thailand recently. These included Dr. Libertado Cruz of the Philippine Carabao Center, Danilo V. Fausto of the Talavera Dairy Cooperative, Juan P. Lozano who is chairman of the Batangas Dairy Cooperative, Administrator Grace Cenas of the National Dairy Authority, and two media persons, including the editor of this page.
Aside from being a high yielder, the Super Napier is claimed to contain 16-18 percent crude protein, which is considered very high. This is very important, especially for dairy animals that have to be nourished adequately in order to produce more milk.
The Super Napier will grow well under many locations. But it will perform best in soils that are rich in organic matter. Dr. Kiyothong says that it is resistant to drought so it could be grown in many areas in the Philippines, including in the Ilocos where there is a distinct wet and dry season.
One of them is 58-year-old Narongchai Deepraman who has planted 20 hectares to this new forage crop. Narongchai used to raise dairy animals but when the Super Napier was released two years ago, he decided to concentrate on forage production. Today, he harvests an average of 20 tons of fresh herbage. He sells this to members of the dairy cooperative at 1.50 bath per kilo (about P2 in Philippine money). Which means he grosses about 30,000 baht everyday.
His biggest expense is on harvesting. He pays each harvester 600 baht per ton. The DLD, however, is taking the initiative to look for a harvesting machine that could significantly reduce the cost of harvesting.
Author : Agri Plain Talk Zac B. Sarian A veteran agriculture journalist who also runs a one-hectare nursery of exotic fruit trees. I am currently the Agriculture Editor of Manila Bulletin, a 113-year-old daily newspaper. My agriculture page appears every Thursday and Saturday where I write my Agri Plain Talk column. This twice weekly column has been running for more than 21 years now.