Focus on Agricultural Research for Intensifying Rural and Industrial Development

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Ministry Of Agriculture
Grasslands in tropical ecozone V have experienced a continued bush encroachment as a result of mainly the control of wildfire accompanied by droughts and in some instances, over-utilization. Management techniques involving strategies of periodic burning and rational grazing deferment were formulated and instituted at the National Range Research Centre, Kiboko. The goal is to improve range productivity. In the present study, 1 herd 1 paddock continuous grazing is compared to 1 herd 3 paddock rational grazing, Mixed herds of cow calves and stockers are used. Burning is prescribed on one third of the grazing area annually. So far, burning has suppressed bush thickets and encouraged a strong expression of some herbaceous species. Themeda triadra and Bothriochloa insculpta, the burned than up-burned paddocks after one growing season following the fires. Also, a proliferation of forbs was noted as a result of burning. Both canopy and density of Acacia senegal and A. melli/era were reduced although resprouting was noted, Easy movement by and control of grazing animals improved following burning. Animals liveweight gains were different for different treatments: prior to the rotation the fastest (0.566 ADG) rate was for steers under continuous- no-bum and slowest (0.367 ADG) under rotation-bum system, respectively. However, following the rotations steers under burning treatments gained weight while the others lost.