Establishment and early growth of Brachiaria grass cultivars in Coastal Lowlands of Kenya

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Research Paper 01/11/2021
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Establishment and early growth of Brachiaria grass cultivars in Coastal Lowlands of Kenya

CN Ondiko, E Auma, L Ngode, DM Njarui, MN Njunie
Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.19( 5), 34-45, November 2021.
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Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the establishment and early growth of Brachiaria cultivars; Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk, Brachiaria. brizantha cvs. Marandu, Piata, Xaraes and MG-4, Brachiaria hybrid cv. Mulato II and Brachiaria humidicola cv. Llanero and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana cv. Ex-Tozi) as control. The experiment was conducted between November 2013 and April 2014 at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Mtwapa and Msabaha Centres in Coastal Kenya. The treatments were set out in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Data was taken on plant number, tiller number, plant height and ground cover at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks after seedlings emergence. Dry matter yield was assessed at 16 weeks. Results indicated that Basilisk, Llanero and MG-4 had the highest plant number at Mtwapa while Piata and Basilisk were highest at Msabaha. Piata had highest plant height at Mtwapa while Mulato II was highest at Msabaha respectively. The cultivars were significantly (p≤0.05) different on tiller number in both sites. Mulato II recorded the highest tiller number, followed by MG-4 and Basilisk respectively. Llanero had higher ground cover followed by Mulato II and MG-4 at Mtwapa but Xaraes was highest at Msabaha. Marandu (7.8t ha-1) and Xaraes (8.7t ha-1) had the highest dry matter yield at Mtwapa. MG-4 (3.5t ha-1) and Basilisk (3.1t ha-1) highest dry matter yield at Msabaha. Finally, Basilisk, Llanero, MG-4 and Piata emerged fast while Marandu, Xaraes, MG-4 and Basilisk recorded high dry matter yields than Rhodes grass.

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