A Preliminary Survey of the Nitrate Content of Various Grasses

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Harker K. W.
Kamau A.K
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In the tropics, during the first few weeks after the commencement of the rainy season, cattle tend to lose condition and milk yields tend to drop, particularly if no feed is given to supplement grazing. In temperate regions similar reactions of livestock occur after the autumn flush of new grass. Numerous theories have been formulated to explain these occurrences. One of these is that during warm, dry weather there is an accumulation of nitrate nitrogen in the soil and when rain falls the nitrate is absorbed quickly by the plants (Ferguson and Terry, 1956). Animals consuming material with a high nitrate content would tend to lose condition, to fall .off in milk production and in severe cases to die. (Whitehead and Moxon, 1952).
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XXVII (No. 2), p. 57-60