Evaluation Of Stay-Green Maize As LIVESTOCK FORAGE (D. Njarui) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 07:55
D.M.G. Njarui1, M. Gatheru1, J.G. Gethi1, and D. M. Mwangi2

1KARI-Katumani Research Centre, P.O. Box 340 - 90100, Machakos, Kenya

2KARI Headquarters, P.O. Box 57811 - 00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Maize is widely cultivated for human food and forage for livestock in Kenya. To evaluate whether maize with stay-green (SG) characteristic produce more stover of higher nutritional value for livestock than commercial cultivars (CC) an experiment was conducted in 2008 at Katumani and 2009 at Ithookwe within the semi-arid region of eastern Kenya. Eighteen SG pedigree lines and two CC; Katumani Composite B (KCB) and Pana were grown in replicated plots. Key agronomic data collected included plant height, numbers of leaves, day to tasseling and silking and grain and stover dry matter yield. The stovers were analysed for crude protein, fibres and digestibility. The SG maize produced significantly (p<0.05) more stover than KCB but not Pana. Although, TZMi712/CML384 was the only SG pedigree line that showed delayed senescence at physiological maturity, a desirable forage character, it was not superior over the CC in nutritional quality. Due to high stover yield, the SG maize have potential in the region and can contribute to availability of livestock feeds.

 
   

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