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Alleviating dry season forage shortages by improved crop protection in the Central Kenyan Highlands

  • B. A. Lukuyu (a1) (a2) (a3), A. J. Murdoch (a1), J. G. M. Njuguna (a2), D. Romney (a3), E. Owen (a1), J. Maina (a4), D. M. Mwangi (a5), F. Musembi (a2), G. N. Mbure (a2), S. N. Njihia (a2), A. McLeod (a6), P. T. Dorward (a1), A.N. Jama (a1) and F. Mould (a1)...

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In the Central Kenyan Highlands, dairy cattle ownership is a crucial element in poverty alleviation. For example, in Kiambu district just north of Nairobi, out of the population of 744010, 48% of 189709 households stall feed dairy cattle. Farm sizes average 1.1 to 2.0 ha per household. Producing sufficient forage for dairy cattle is difficult and low dry matter intake constrains dairy production and there is a positive correlation between stover intake and milk yield.. Napier grass comprised 40% of the total dry matter fed to cattle and maize forage 24% according to the project’s Rapid Rural Appraisal, maize thinnings and stover being routinely fed to livestock. In another survey, dry maize stover accounted for nearly 65% of dry matter intake of dairy cattle during October.

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