Bosco Kidake Kisambo, Bryan Peter Ogillo, David Musyimi


Background: Weeds are a common occurrence and challenge in different crops eventually influencing crop development and yields. Weed control and management are key in enhancing the productivity of cultivated pastures. In semi-arid Kenyan drylands, the main methods employed for weed management are manual cultural practices and recently, the application of commercial herbicides. Objective: To evaluate the effects of two weed control methods on weed characteristics and productivity of four rangeland grasses commonly used in reseeding and pasture improvement in a semi-arid environment. Methodology: In a randomized complete block design in a field experiment, we determined the effects of two weed control methods (manual and herbicide use) in four rangeland cultivated grasses. These are Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Horsetail grass (Chloris roxburghiana), Masaai love grass (Eragrostis superba) and Bush rye (Enteropogon macrostachyus). Weed characteristics (species, density, diversity and weed biomass,) were evaluated, as well as the effectiveness of the weed control methods in the grasses. Results: Broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses were prevalent in the established grasses. Generally, higher grass dry matter yields were obtained in Cenchrus ciliaris grasses (2.05 t h-1) while lowest yields were in Chloris roxburghiana (1.2 ton ha-1). Weed management interventions increased biomass production in the grasses by a mean of 19% in general. The mean yield increase varied with species and weed control method ranging from 8-39%. Weed control methods significantly reduced weed density, diversity and eventually weed biomass within the grass species. The efficacy of manual weed control and chemical application was in the range of 27-74%.  Implications: Weed control is, therefore, necessary if one is to realize higher productivity and returns in cultivated pasture and fodder systems in semi-arid environments. Conclusion: Both chemical and manual control methods of weed control are important and effective approaches to manage weeds in pasture systems in semi-arid environments.


Dry matter; Livestock; Grazing; Herbicide; Pastures; Rangeland.

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URN: http://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/urn:ISSN:1870-0462-tsaes.v26i1.44948

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.56369/tsaes.4494

Copyright (c) 2022 Bosco Kidake Kisambo

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