RHODES GRASS (Chloris gayana Kunth.) SEED QUALITY IN RESPONSE TO FERTILIZER APPLICATION AND HARVESTING REGIMES
Forage seeds play a vital role in livestock development as they are the foundation for increased feed production per unit area. Availability of good quality establishment of old stands is important in ensuring continuous and adequate supply of forage. Establishment of ley pasture is a problem to farmers mainly because of low quality seed. The quality of seed is affected during management of seed production plots harvesting processing and storage. This study accessed seed quality of different Rhodes grass varieties through optimal fertilization , harvesting regimes and degluming that were sourced from Lanet seed laboratory and isolation plots. A completely randomized design in the laboratory was used to access the quality of seeds from isolation plots in Endebes and those from Lanet seed laboratory. Then a split plot experiment was set at Kitale and at the University of Eldoret to determine the how dry matter herbage yield and seed degluming responded to optimal fertilization and harvesting regimes. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the significant difference in quality of seeds in Lanet laboratory and those from the isolation plots in Endebes and between the treatment means of fertilizer level and harvesting regime the treatment means were separated by HSD.0.05(Turkey method). The quality of seeds in Lanet laboratory and isolation plots was very low while there was a significant difference in fertilizer levels and harvesting regimes in terms of dry matter PGS, and degluming. Fertilizer application, date of harvesting and degluming enhances the quality of Rhodes grass seeds.
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