Pastures and Grasses on the Serere Experiment Station, Uganda

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Hosking, H.R.
Stephens, A. L.
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Since the year 1934 when it was decided to change the existing rotational which entailed continuous cropping interspersed with green manures, for a rotation which allowed the land (0 rest for three or four years under planted grass after only two years of cultivation, our attention has been focused more and more on the study of the indigenous grasses. We were forced to conclude that we could not keep up the fertility of our light and easily eroded soils unless we made provision for the recovery of the soil structure. It was thought at first that Panicum maximum would prove to be the most suitable grass for this purpose, since it is very palatable to cattle and it was intended to graze the resting arable land to some extent. It soon became apparent that a tufted grass of this description was not suitable, as a complete cover was not obtained and the soil between the tufts was subjected to excessive trampling and in consequence erosion occurred between the tufts. The next attempt consisted in establishing a mixture of Panicum maximum and the creeping Cynodon plectostachyum. This gave more promising results but was not a complete success as it was found that the cattle overgrazed the Panicum and left the Cynodon alone until the latter became coarse and unpalatable; in the meantime the Panicum could not compete with the ungrazed Cynodon.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 6 (4), p. 213-219