Abstract: This study was conducted in Naivasha, Kenya over a period of 15 weeks to determine the effect of manure and fertilizer application on yield of Columbus grass (Sorghum almum). After field preparation, 60 plots of 2×2 m2 size were demarcated and further divided into 5 similar units comprising of 4 blocks of 3 plots each (N = 12). The plots in each block were independently allotted to 3 treatments in a Randomized Complete Block (RCB) design. Treatments were T1-control (with nether manure nor fertilizer), T2 and T3 received manure and inorganic fertilizer, respectively. All the 4 blocks (weed free) in each of the five (randomly distributed) units were planted on the same day and harvesting at 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 weeks in a sequential manner starting with unit 1-5. All the blocks in each unit were harvested on the same day (at 5 cm height) and the entire freshly harvested materials, per plot, were weighed. Representative grab samples were collected, chopped to pieces of 2 cm length, mixed and 2 composite samples (500 g each) were taken for Dry Matter (DM) determination and chemical analyses. DM, Ash and Crude Protein (CP) were determined according the standard procedures. Fresh Matter Yield (FMY), DM Yield (DMY), Organic Matter Yield (OMY) and Crude Protein Yield (CPY) per 4m2 were determined and translated to equivalent ha. Collected data was stored in MS-Excel and analyzed using SAS. Results showed that, at the age of 6 weeks, FMY and DMY (ton ha 1) in T3 (8.8 and 1.2, respectively) were 66.1 and 71.4% higher (p< 0.0001) than T1 (5.3 and 0.7). It was also observed that, T2 (6.9 and 0.9) and T1 were also different (p< 0.05) at this age. At the age of 14 weeks T1, T2 and T3 recorded 62.5, 77.2 and 85.6 ton FMY ha 1 and 13.5, 17.1 and 19.9 ton DMY ha 1, respectively. A similar trend was observed with OMY and CPY, with T2 and T3 (13.9 and 16.1 ton DM ha 1, respectively) registering 27.5 and 47.7% higher OMY than T1. The results also showed strong correlation of yield parameters studied. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that, treatment had strong effect on yield. It was therefore concluded that manure or fertilizer application substantially increased the yield of Sorghum almum, with animal manure being the most ideal cost effective option for smallholder resource-poor farmers in Kenya.
T.P. Lanyasunya , Hongrong Wang , E.A. Mukisira , F.B. Lukibisi , D.M. Kuria and N.K. Kibitok , 2007. Effect of Manure and Fertilizer Application on Yield of Sorghum almum Harvested at Different Maturity Stages. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 879-882.