Napier (Penisetum purpureum) Agronomic Response Under Desmodium (Desmodium intortum) Influence at Ubiri village Lushoto District, Tanzania
The scarcity of high-quality forage to animals is one of the major limiting factors to dairy productivity improvement in Lushoto District. This is attributed to soil fertility losses due to soil erosion, deforestation and the decrease or abandonment of the use of mineral fertilizer. The objective of the present study was to assess the Napier Agronomic response under Desmodium influence for dairy producers in Ubiri Village, Lushoto District. Two treatments were used; Desmodium and number of harvests established using Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Data collected included counting the number of tillers per bunch, measuring the height of tillers (m), leaf area indices and biomass yield (tha-1) in each treatment in their respective replications. Data were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance in R software. The results show that, during the third harvest (28 weeks) Desmodium significantly (P<0.05) increased the tiller number, leaf area index (LAI) and the biomass yield (tha-1) of the grasses by 41%, 76%, and 73% respectively. It was concluded that, Desmodium had positive influence on the agronomic performance of hybrid Napier grass. For sustainable provision of benefits to livestock keepers, we recommend that, integration of forage crops and Desmodium should be promoted.
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