Theme 2: Forage--Oral Sessions

Description

Forage production is at the core of improved livestock productivity, especially in sub Saharan Africa. The genetic potential of existing animals remains underutilized due to limited forage quality and quantity. Albeit wide range of forage germplasm that exists, little data is available for identifying suitable genotypes, matched to specific environments and production systems. Due to the spatial and temporal diverse environments in which livestock production happens, multi-locational screening of forage production and characterizing genotype by environment interaction is key. We selected seven Urochloa (Syn. Brachiaria) genotypes comprising three hybrids and four cultivars and established them in on-farm trials in western Kenya for dry matter evaluation and nutritional quality. We selected eight sites covering four administrative counties (Siaya, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma), and each county hosting two replicated trials, with each trial replicated 3 times. We observed dry matter yield differences across the counties in the order Bungoma > Busia > Kakamega > Siaya. Similarly, the genotypes returned varied performance across the sites. Hybrids did well in one of the county, a mix of hybrids and cultivars in two counties and cultivars in the last county. Amongst sites, variation was least in Busia, and more pronounced in Bungoma. Continued assessments in subsequent cuts are underway. These will feed into context-specific recommendations about suitable forages for sustainable intensification in the face of global warming.

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Differences In Urochloa Hybrids and Cultivars Biomass Production in Several Sites in Western Kenya

Forage production is at the core of improved livestock productivity, especially in sub Saharan Africa. The genetic potential of existing animals remains underutilized due to limited forage quality and quantity. Albeit wide range of forage germplasm that exists, little data is available for identifying suitable genotypes, matched to specific environments and production systems. Due to the spatial and temporal diverse environments in which livestock production happens, multi-locational screening of forage production and characterizing genotype by environment interaction is key. We selected seven Urochloa (Syn. Brachiaria) genotypes comprising three hybrids and four cultivars and established them in on-farm trials in western Kenya for dry matter evaluation and nutritional quality. We selected eight sites covering four administrative counties (Siaya, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma), and each county hosting two replicated trials, with each trial replicated 3 times. We observed dry matter yield differences across the counties in the order Bungoma > Busia > Kakamega > Siaya. Similarly, the genotypes returned varied performance across the sites. Hybrids did well in one of the county, a mix of hybrids and cultivars in two counties and cultivars in the last county. Amongst sites, variation was least in Busia, and more pronounced in Bungoma. Continued assessments in subsequent cuts are underway. These will feed into context-specific recommendations about suitable forages for sustainable intensification in the face of global warming.