The effect of grass strips on terrace development and crop yield
Kinoti, F K
Gachene, CK K
Gitonga, N M
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The study was conducted on a humic Nitisol at Kabete Field Station, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya to assess the effect of seven different grass strips on terrace development and maize yield. After nine years of establishment, donkey grass (Panicum trichocladum) was the best in bench development with 6.2% mean slope followed by creeping signal (Brachira humidicola) (5.1%). Bana (Pennisetum purpureum) (4.7%), tall signal (Bracharia ruziziensis), and Guatemala (4.2%), tall guinea (Panicum maximum) (4.0%) and lastly Makarikari (Panicum coloratum var. Makarikarienses) grass (1.8%). Bana and tall guinea grasses significantly (P = 0.001) decreased maize plant heights and yields on the lower and upper terrace positions due to their competitive effects. Maize grain yield was 1.2 t ha-1 in the lower terrace position, 2.4 t ha-1 in the middle and 1.4 t ha-1 in the upper terrace position of bana. Tall guinea terrace maize grain yields were 0.9 t ha-1 in the lower position, 2 t ha-1 in the middle and 1 t ha-1 in the upper position. Yield differences among positions for Makarikari, creeping signal, Donkey and Guatemala grasses were not significant. Of the grasses evaluated, bana and tall guinea would be more appropriate for farmers who are confronted by conservation needs and require fodder for animals.