The Chemical Composition of the Grasses of Kenya-Iii

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Bogdan, A.V
Dougall, H.W
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In this third paper of a series which began in 1958. the chemical composition of 32 Indigenous grasses of Kenya is given together with descriptive notes and remarks on their Nutritive value. The grasses grown in the nursery of the National Agricultural Research Station (formerly the Grassland Research Station), Kitale, are represented by 15 species. Eight of, these were sampled early in the season, in April, and this early harvest is reflected in chemical composition, and especially in the crude protein content of the dry matter Which is much higher than would normally be expected at the same stage of development, Usually the early flowering stage, later in the season. Samples of 17 other grasses were collected In their natural habitats, viz. seasonally wet grassland on poor lateritic soil near Nairobi (l species); season any water-logged black clays on the Atm Plains (3 species); Grassland with Commiphora bush in the Tsavo National Park (East) near Voi (2 species); Grassland with scattered or grouped trees in the Mara area of MasaiIand (2 species); alluvial flats with scattered Acacia tortilis at Marigat, near Lake Baringo (9 species, all Annual). These nine annuals were collected on rich alluvial soil. They show a relatively high Content of crude protein and, what is particulary characteristic, a high content of total ash. Silica-free ash and of ca1cium. Two species of Aristida and especially A. mlltabi/is are exceptions In that they are a poor source of calcium and are not particularly rich in protein.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, xxx (No 4), p. 314-319