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Validation of the best bet Urochloa (Brachiaria) grass cultivars for increasing feed availability and improve livestock productivity in selected sites in Kenya

Citation

Njarui, Donald; Gatheru, Mwangi; Gichangi, Elias (2022), Validation of the best bet Urochloa (Brachiaria) grass cultivars for increasing feed availability and improve livestock productivity in selected sites in Kenya, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2bvq83bt0

Abstract

The trials were carried out at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization's Centre Mwea and Kamweti Agricultural Training Centre (ATC), both in Kirinyaga County.

Methods

Experiments were conducted in randomized complete block design with 4 Urochloa grass varieties and 1 local check (Rhodes grass), replicated 3 times. Data collection was carried out 16 weeks after seedling emergence with the first harvest being the standardization cut. For each plot, a 4 square metre quadrant was selected. Within the quadrant, the height of 4 randomly selected plants was measured using a 1 m ruler. The number of tillers per plant was measured by counting the number of tillers from 4 randomly selected plants within the 4 square metre quadrant. For each plot, the grass within the 4 square metre quadrant was cut at a height of about 5 cm above the ground and the fresh material weighed.  A sub-sample of about 500g was taken, then dried at 105 degrees Celsius for 48 hours and weighed for dry matter determination. Subsequent data collection was carried out after every 8 weeks. For each plot, the mean plant height and mean number of tillers was derived through the "Average function" of MicroSoft Excel. The dry matter yield was calculated from the weight of dry sub-sample, fresh sub-sample and the main sample and then converted to kilogrammes per hectare. 

Funding

European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation programme, Award: 727201