A MULTILEVEL (COMBINED ANALYSIS) FOR A REPEATED DATA IN TWO SEASONS ON DRY MATTER YIELDS OF COMMON FODDER GRASSES IN WESTERN KENYA

ABSTRACT
Fodder grasses are the most common crops fed to dairy animals in Kenya. Although not
directly used for human consumption, they are the source of protein and fat i.e. meat, milk
and other dairy products that are available to human beings through intermediaries like cattle,
sheep, goats, poultry etc. Performance of four grass fodder varieties on two different rainy
seasons was evaluated to determine seasonal effects. The fodder grass varieties included in
the study were; Bana grass, Cameroon grass, Bajra grass, and Giant Panicum (P. Maximum).
Two harvests (cuts) were made in each of the two seasons. The main objective of the study
were to determine DM (dry matter) yield of the four varieties in the two different rainy
seasons and to determine the effects of cutting times on fodder yields. Kenya has two very
different rainy seasons; Long rain season and short rain season. The total mean yield of the
four fodder varieties was high in long rain season (7.14 t/ha) compared to the total mean yield
of the short season (2.63 t/ha) in the first cut. The mean yield of second cut during short rain
season is higher (7.33 t/ha) compared to the mean yield of Long rain (5.97 t/ha). Season had
significant effect on the yield (p<0.0001 for cut 1 and p=0.0067 for cut 2) of fodder grass
varieties. The significant reduction in yield during the short rain season could be due to
inadequate moisture causing reduction in vegetative growth. Examining the effect of seasons
and treatments interaction of the two harvests (cut 1 and cut 2), showed significance
(p=0.0067 and p<0.001) respectively) meaning that a number of fodder grass varieties
produced higher dry matter yield in one of the season than the other. The results of this study
indicate that harvest management of fodder grass should vary according to season. There is
need of farmers in Kenya to beef up moisture requirement during short rain season to have
adequate surplus of fodder crop throughout the year.

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