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A review of pasture and fodder crops germplasm evaluation at Uyole, Mbeya in Tanzania

T.J. Myoya and N.J. Mukurasi
Uyole Agricultural Centre, P.O. Box 400, Mbeya, Tanzania

Pasture plant evaluation


Since 1970 different pasture grasses, perennial legumes and annual fodders have been introduced and evaluated at Uyole. Initial introductions were temperate species among which only Trifolium repens proved adapted to the Kitulo plateau where they are presently grown on a large scale. Further evaluations involved both tropical and subtropical species with Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana Kunth) as a locally adapted reference species. At Uyole several introduced species have outyielded Rhodes grass and future work will look at the chemical composition of these species at different growth stages. Among the legumes, Desmodium spp. cv Greenleaf and Silverleaf have shown good adaptation at Uyole and a few of the substations. These species have mixed well with most grasses. Neonotonia wightii cv Tinaroo and Macroptilium atropurpureum have also shown good promise at Uyole.

Amongst the perennial fodders, Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) has shown a wide adaptation to different localities and is currently used by most small-scale dairy farmers for fodder.

Lupinus spp. among the annual fodders has grown and stood well into the dry season at Uyole when planted late in the growing season. Oats cultivars have not been successful due to poor crown rust resistance. Current evaluations have included Triticale cultivars which have outyielded oats. Fodder beets have been evaluated but have failed to bolt.

Animal production evaluations at Uyole have just been initiated and preliminary results have indicated that a grazing pressure of as high as 32 cows/ha can be achieved on some of the forages and fodders without affecting milk production drastically.


The Southern Highlands of Tanzania cover vast areas of natural grasslands with varying land topography where the overstorey comprises Miombo woodland. On the hillsides and on undisturbed flatlands Hyparrhenia and Themeda spp. form a dense cover. These grasslands often lack local legumes, and therefore increased animal production (beef or milk) cannot be expected. The increasing population pressure especially in Mbozi, Rungwe and Mbeya districts have forced farmers to develop a forage-feeding system where very small areas could be grown with improved pastures.

Due to the low yield and quality of natural pastures, a search into better quality grasses was initiated in 1970 at Uyole to cater for the four regions of Iringa, Mbeya, Rukwa and Ruvuma. The work reported is mostly from Uyole, and it is only recently that germplasm evaluation has been started in Iringa and Rukwa Regions.

This paper broadly covers germplasm evaluations carried out at Uyole (Long. 33 32'E; Lat. 8 55'W) at an altitude of 1800 m with an average rainfall of 870 mm. Mean maximum temperatures range from 21-27C and mean minimum temperatures of 8-14C (Heady, 1978). The soils developed from volcanic parent material and contain pumice. They have recently been classified as Eutrandepts (Soil survey USDA classification) (Kamasho and Singh, 1982). They have a medium to slightly acid reaction (pH 6.5) and have a light texture (clay-loam). Phosphorus levels hardly reach 5 ppm. Copper is deficient in such soils.

Pasture plant evaluation


Initial grass introduction started in 1970 at Uyole from Sweden. They were mainly temperate grasses. A list of first introductions is shown in Table 1. In two seasons most temperate grasses proved a failure at Uyole despite a high nitrogen application rate of 120 kg N/ha. Only perennial and annual ryegrasses were worth harvesting. However, these did not survive the dry season and due to poor seed set they had to be abandoned. However, Lolium spp. have proved a success on Kitulo plateau (2900 m.a.s.l.), and the species is now grown on a large scale for dairy production.

During the same season Rhodes grass and Nandi setaria were introduced from Kitale and compared at Uyole under different nitrogen levels. Further comparisons with Congo signal, Italian ryegrass and perennial ryegrass showed the latter to be low yielding in terms of dry matter as indicated by Table 2. Among all grasses, Nandi setaria showed a much higher nitrogen efficiency followed by Rhodes grass. The two temperate species showed both low yields and low nitrogen efficiency. After the second season the temperate species were attacked by cutworms and had to be dropped out. Their seeding qualities were also poor.

No chemical analysis was made on the different grass species due to lack of analytical facilities at the centre. Further evaluations had then to be based on Rhodes grass and Nandi setaria for their proved high yield with a good nitrogen response. Further comparisons were made involving molasses grass and coloured guinea grass (Anon, 1976). Both coloured guinea and molasses grass gave 5-6 t DM/ha in three cuts at 40 kg N/ha fertilizer rate compared with 6 t/ha for Rhodes grass.

During 1974, further introductions were made from Kitale, Kenya where Pokot Rhodes, Mbarara Rhodes, Masaba Rhodes and Molasses grass were compared with the locally growing Rhodes (Mbeya ecotype). All Rhodes cultivars did not yield significantly higher than Mbeya ecotype at all nitrogen levels (0-350 kg N/ha) while the rest of the grasses actually gave lower yields. During 1975/76 season, a chemical analysis based on % crude protein and in vitro dry-matter digestibility were carried out on Pokot Rhodes, Nandi setaria and Mbeya ecotype Rhodes as shown in Table 3 for three boot-stage cuts.

Table 1. A list of grass species introduction at Uyole in 1970.



DM yield kg/ha 1970/71


Phleum pretense (Timothy)

Vallo - -
Kaumpe II - -
Omria - -
Engmo - -
Bottnia II - -
Vanadis - -

Festuca pratensis (Meadow fescue)

Mimer - -
Sena - -
Bottnia II - -
Loeken - -

Dactylis glomerata (Cocksfoot)

Frode - -
Tardus II - -

Poa pratensis (Bluegrass)

Flyking - -

Lolium perenne (Perennial ryegrass)

Delta 3490 -
Viva 2720 -
Viris 3240 -

Lolium multiflorum (Annual ryegrass)

Imperial 6580 1770
Novita 5000 1400
Barwoltra 5700 -
Barmultra 5270 -
Tawera 5540 1500
Tetrone 5410 -
S.V. 02050 - 1810
H.G. 7222 - 1470

On the whole, Nandi setaria contained more crude protein at most nitrogen levels. Variation among cuts was not expected since the cutting interval and growth stage was the same for all cuts. INVODMD seemed not to be affected by the nitrogen level. Quality changes were not pronounced up to 150 kg N/ha implying higher N dressing requirements on the low N status soils of Uyole. Pokot Rhodes gave lower protein content than Mbeya Rhodes which also displayed lower INVODMD. To date, seed increase and distribution is based on Mbeya Rhodes because of its superiority over the introduced cultivars from Kenya.

Table 2. Dry-matter yield (t/ha) of different grass species under nitrogen application at Uyole (mean of three years).


Rhodes grass

Nandi Setaria

Congo signal

Italian ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass


Kg DM/ha


Kg DM/ha


Kg DM/ha


Kg DM/ha


Kg DM/ha


0 3700
60 6020 39 5000 44 - - - - - -
120 8720 42 7820 45 3830 24 2750 17 2930 19
240 14120 43 14820 52 6860 24 4760 17 3390 11
360 1786 39 18160 44 - - - - - -
480 21030 37 21460 40 9990 19 8040 15 7900 15

Source: Anon (1976).

Table 3. Crude protein (% of DM) and dry-matter digestibility of three grasses under nitrogen application (Trial 116/74)

Nitrogen KgN/ha/cut

Grass species

1st cut

2nd cut

3rd cut

(Jan. 1976)

(March 1976)

(May 1976)

CP (%)


CP (%)


CP (%)



Mbeya Rhodes 9.2 57.5 - 63.3 10.6 52.9
Pokot Rhodes 9.6 57.7 - 75.0 9.2 58.0
Nandi Setaria 9.3 66.3 - 70.4 10.6 64.6


Mbeya Rhodes 8.1 59.4 8.0 54.6 7.9 63.5
Pokot Rhodes 7.2 60.1 7.8 59.1 5.8 59.1
Nandi Setaria 8.6 64.8 8.1 65.6 8.3 66.2


Mbeya Rhodes 9.4 63.3 14.2 59.3 8.0 55.8
Pokot Rhodes 8.7 65.4 8.2 59.5 6.5 66.3
Nandi Setaria 10.3 60.4 9.6 55.8 9.0 64.4


Mbeya Rhodes 11.0 63.8 13.0 53.5 15.5 53.2
Pokot Rhodes 11.9 67.2 10.9 66.1 9.1 60.0
Nandi Setaria 14.2 61.4 12.6 57.0 11.4 67.3


Mbeya Rhodes 15.7 60.0 10.5 63.2 12.1 58.9
Pokot Rhodes 15.5 63.9 14.6 68.4 9.6 66.1
Nandi Setaria 16.6 61.4 17.3 71.8 11.9 65.1


Mbeya Rhodes 17.5 64.7 18.3 69.4 13.1 57.8
Pokot Rhodes 15.4 62.2 16.2 61.5 12.2 68.8
Nandi Setaria 19.2 60.2 16.8 60.5 15.2 67.6


Mbeya Rhodes 17.0 62.0 16.9 60.4 11.3 55.8
Pokot Rhodes 16.1 59.7 15.1

Nandi Setaria 18.7 64.1 16.5 64.2 15.8 71.1


Mbeya Rhodes 17.6 61.1 17.7 59.2 12.1 53.2
Pokot Rhodes 16.7 63.5 17.4 60.5 12.9 68.9
Nandi Setaria 19.9 61.3 18.3 63.2 15.5 67.9


Due to the increasing number of small-scale dairy farmers in the Southern Highlands, the reliance on fertilizer nitrogen was considered not possible as in most cases the capital available is not enough even for the food crops. The highlands' natural pastures lack local legumes and most of them had to be introduced. Introduced legumes include Greenleaf Desmodium, Silverleaf Desmodium, Siratro, Centro, Puero, Calopo, Clitoria, Neonotonia, Kenya white clover, Subterranean clover, Cook stylo, Hamata stylo, Seca stylo, Red clover, Lablab and Vicia or common vetch. Initial legume evaluations started in 1972. Most legumes did not germinate (Trial 105/72) except Greenleaf and Silverleaf Desmodium. Most of these were again introduced from Australia in 1981 as will be discussed under mixtures. Both cultivars of Desmodium have proved well suited to Uyole (1800 m.a.s.l.) Mbimba (1525 m.a.s.l.), Rungwe district (Mbeya) and Njombe district (Iringa). Further evaluations are now being carried out at Mitalula (1055 m.a.s.l.) Nkundi (1975 m.a.s.l.) and Ismani (1370 m.a.s.l.) Seed increase is now being carried out for the two cultivars for further evaluation in different localities and distribution to areas where the legume has already been tested.


During 1971/72 season all the above legumes were grown in mixture with either Rhodes grass or Nandi Setaria. Most legumes did not germinate and those that germinated did not form an adequate ground cover, and some did not tolerate the dry season. Further mixture evaluations were made in 1979-1986 season (Trial 505-79) and results are shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Dry-matter yields (kg/ha) of mixtures and their components in pure stands (yield aggregates for three cuts/annum).


Mean pure grass yield

Rhodes/Greenleaf Desmodium mixture

Rhodes Silverleaf Desmodium mixture



1980 11670 15580 14230 13810 11810
1981 3095 5980 5290 6760 5150
1982 4935 5330 4190 5870 4290
1983 8700 7250 6580 7340 7650
1984 4210 4130 4740 3920 5280
1985 3665 3650 3870 4100 4040
1986 6115 5420 5370 5510 5300
Means 6055 6760 6320 6760 6220
Standard deviation 3100 4063 3597 3355 2728

The overall mixture effects were masked especially after the second year for the two legume cultivars, and this was worsened after the fifth year due to ingress Hyparrhenia sp. During the first year, a chemical analysis was made on all the three cuts as shown in Table 5. Only crude protein was determined due to lack of facilities for other analyses.

Irrespective of cut number, there was an increase in the crude protein content when Desmodium was included. Pure legumes, however gave higher values than the mixture.

Table 5. Crude protein content (% dry-matter bases) of pure Rhodes, Rhodes/Desmodium and pure Desmodium at Uyole.

Cut No.

Pure Thodes

Rhodes/Greenleaf Desmodium

Greenleaf Desmodium

Pure Rhodes

Rhodes/Silverleaf Desmodium


1st cut

9/1/80 11.3 13.7 19.2 10.8 13.2 18.0
2nd cut

17/3/80 8.8 13.3 13.9 8.5 13.5 19.2
3rd cut

18/6/80 7.0 10.2 13.7 5.9 10.2 9.0

During the 1981/82 growing season, different grass and legumes species and cultivars were introduced from Australia. Among the grasses we had:

Cenchrus ciliaris cv Biloela
Panicum maximum var. typica (common Guinea) cv Riversdale.
Panicum maximum cv Gatton
Panicum maximum cv Hamil
Setaria anceps cv Narok
Setaria anceps cv Nandi
Setaria anceps cv Kazungula
Brachiaria decumbens (Signal grass) cv Basilisk.
Paspalum plicatulum (Plicatulum) cv Rodd's Bay
Paspalum plicatulum (Plicatulum) cv Bryan
Urochloa mosambicensis (Sabi grass) cv Nixon.

The legumes included:

Centrosema pubescens cv Common Centro
Neonotonia wightii cv Tinarro
Macroptilium atropurpureum cv Siratro
Medicago sativa (Lucerne) cv Hunter River
Stylosanthes guianensis cv Cook

Stylosanthes hamata (Caribbean stylo) cv Verano
Stylosanthes scabra (Shrubby stylo) cv Seca
Trifolium semipilosum (Kenya white clover) cv Safari
Trifolium repens (white clover) cv Haifa.

The grasses and legumes were planted in the field at Uyole, the grasses being either in pure stands or in mixtures with the different legumes. Due to seed shortage, plot sizes had to be reduced to 9 m unreplicated and arranged in a split-block design. Weed control was done by the hand hoe during the first year of establishment and depending on the growth habit of the species, no weeding was carried out during the second year.

Centro was very slow to establish compared to most other legumes. Stylos showed good performance during the first year only while lucerne was completely eliminated by most grasses. Though suited to the drier inland regions Buffel grass cv Biloela performed adequately at an altitude as high as 1800 m.a.s.l.

All grasses proved to be drought resistant and although they were susceptible to night frosts in July/August they recovered rapidly. An exception was Urochloa mosambiscensis which did not recover after the fourth year. In addition, Urochloa was completely shaded and killed by both Desmodium and Neonotonia spp. Most grasses were able to control weeds effectively except Urochloa, Paspalum plicatulum cv Bryan and Setaria sphacelata cv Narok. Paspalum was also completely shaded by both Desmodium spp. or Silverleaf. The only grasses that tended to show a good balance with the desmodiums were Brachiaria decumbens and Setaria sphacelata cv Kazungula.

Among the legumes, only Siratro, the Desmodium and Neonotonia spp. showed promise. Legumes like Centro, clovers and the stylos were all suppressed by the grasses. Despite the promise shown by Neonotonia, the legume failed to flower at Uyole and at Mitahila (1055 m.a.s.l.) One Centro has proved to flower in three months from planting at that altitude.

Further grass evaluation in pure swards are currently being done on Rompha grass, canary grass, Entolasia imbricata, Cynodon nlemfuensis, Cocksfoot and Panicum coloratum. They are compared with Rhodes grass and Themeda triandra as standard checks. With the legumes, further evaluations include Crotalaria intermedia, Archer dolichos, Berseem, Rhynchosia and Neonotonia wightii (Mbeya type).

Evaluation in terms of animal production has just been started at Uyole and there are indications that on a fertilized Rhodes/Desmodium mixture a grazing pressure of 32 animals/ha can be used without effecting milk production.

Perennial Fodder Crops

The major problem the small- and large-scale farmers face in the highlands is shortage of green fodder during the six-month dry season. To solve this problem fodder crops have been introduced and evaluated. These are discussed below.

Napier grass

This crop was introduced at Uyole in 1971 from the surrounding districts in Mbeya Region. Evaluations at the Centre showed it to be high yielding. Due to the increase in fertilizer prices, the evaluation included comparisons with Silverleaf Desmodium. Three-years' average data are shown in Table 6.

This kind of evaluation indicated benefits for the mixture in dry-matter yield which could help farmers release inorganic fertilizers for other crops. For two consecutive seasons a chemical analysis was done on the first cut of the mixture, and it was clear that protein content increased with the inclusion of the legume as indicated in Table 7.

Table 6. Dry-matter yield (kg/ha) of Napier grass - Desmodium mixture at two nitrogen levels.


Nitrogen application kg N/ha/season




Napier grass alone 5050 10140 7590
Napier grass + Desmodium within rows 12580 15730 14150
Napier grass + Desmodium between Napier rows 11880 15440 13650

Source: Myoya (1980).

Table 7. Crude protein content of fodder Napier when fertilized or grown in association with Silverleaf Desmodium.

Fodder type

Crude Protein (on % DM basis)




Without N. Napier alone 5.4 4.3 4.9
40 kg/ha N. Napier alone 5.9 4.6 5.3
Without N. Napier + Desmodium 12.9 11.4 5.3
40 N/ha N. Napier + Desmodium 10.4 9.8 10.1

Applications of 40 kg N resulted in a small crude protein increase as compared to the legume mixture effect. Though the crop was hit by night frosts in July, it recovered at the end of August. Growth commenced immediately, and it became available for feeding in the October-November period.

Due to much interest in Napier fodder, four new cultivars were introduced from Kitale, Kenya in 1975 and dry-matter yield assessed for five consecutive years. Only average data is shown in Table 8 (1977-1981). Despite the high yield obtained from Gold Coast, which almost approached that of Mbeya ecotype, its hairiness limits its use as they produce skin irritations especially when used under cut-and-carry. French Camerouns produced relatively high yields and large amounts have already been planted by the surrounding small-scale dairy farmers. The crop has successfully been introduced in other localities like Mbozi (1525 m.a.s.l.) Nkundi in Sumbawanga (1750 m.a.s.l.) and Mitalula (1055 m.a.s.l.)

Table 8. Dry-matter yield of different Napier grass cultivars at varying nitrogen application rates (kg/ha).

Nitrogen level (kg N/ha)


Gold Coast

French Camerouns




0 3720 3860 1910 1400 3850
60 4950 5890 2430 2290 5960
120 7780 8260 4580 3800 6910
240 14290 13260 6380 7970 15800

Russian Comfrey (Symphytum peregrinum)

This is reported as a suitable fodder crop for cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and poultry. Observations at Uyole confirm Strange's (1959) findings that it is never touched by cattle when freshly cut. The crop was introduced from Tengeru in Arusha in 1977. Dry-matter yield averaged 6 t/ha under nitrogen applications of 160 kg N/ha. A chemical analysis of the crop indicated 17.9% crude protein, 10.9% crude fibre, 3.2% crude fat and 24.4% ash all on dry-matter basis.

Lucerne: Among the perennial fodder legumes that have received much attention at Uyole is lucerne. Initial work in Tanzania started in Northern Tanzania where the cultivar Hairy Peruvian was compared with the cultivars Saladina and Hunter River. Work at Uyole started in 1971 with introductions of cultivars Tuna and Du Puitis (Anon, 1972) from Sweden. Due to poor germination and heavy weed competition these cultivars were lost.

During the 1974/75 season, 16 lucerne cultivars were reintroduced from Sweden. Evaluations based on dry-matter productivity showed that at the onset of the dry season good quality hay can be produced from lucerne.

However, during the 1973/74 season the cultivar Hairy Peruvian was planted in replacement series with Rhodes grass cv Pokot and nitrogen application included in order to measure the possible yield contribution of the mixture. During the first season, a seed rate mixture of 3.5 kg Rhodes grass and 4 kg lucerne produced the highest yield. The two-year average data is shown in Table 9.

The results not only demonstrated the advantages of the mixture but also indicated that lucerne benefited from small quantities of nitrogen application. Without nitrogen the mixture had a 12-14% CP content while with nitrogen application this was 13.9-15.8% CP, showing a small increase. Further evaluations stopped due to seed unavailability. At this altitude (1800 m.a.s.l.) there were not enough pollinators for the crop and hence no seed yield.

Table 9. Dry-matter yield of Rhodes-lucerne mixture, kg/ha.

Nitrogen application, kg N/ha




Pure Rhodes 3860 8210 6035
Rhodes lucerne 6890 9940 8415
Pure lucerne 6070 8260 7165

Source: Anon (1977, 1980).

Annual Fodder Crops

These are short-term crops that cannot only be used to overcome seasonal feed shortages but also as main producers of roughage. They can be used as pioneer crops in new lands and they can easily be integrated into mixed crop-livestock enterprises. They can be used for direct grazing, made into silage or fed as green chop.

Oats (Avena sativa)

At higher altitudes in the highlands, cool-season crops like oats can be grown. During 1970/71, ten oats cultivars were introduced from Sweden, Finland and Holland. These were planted in single rows and their seed yield potential assessed. Most cultivars showed a vigorous vegetative growth, but due to disease attack very few panicles were formed and hence low seed yields were recorded (Table 10). Comparisons were made with the locally grown cultivar "Suregrain" from Canada which was introduced at Uyole in 1970 for use as a companion crop in the establishment of grass legume pastures, silage and green fodder production.

Table 10. Seed yield of different oats cultivars at Uyole, dry-matter yield and rust score trial.




Days to heading

Seed yield (kg/ha)

Dry-matter yield (kg/ha)

Rust scorea

SOIL II - - 5,400 5
Pendek 104 250 5,720 -
Hannes 109 500 - -
Same 104 130 - -
Nil 83 420 5,380 3
Titus 104 310 4,570 6
Stormogul - 170 - -
Sorbo - 130 4,330 10
Linda 104 780 5,920 6
Condor 111 740 5,650 5
Selma 103 760 6,620 5
Suregrain 93 480 4,050 0
Nina - - 5,380 5

a Crown rust assessment: 0 = No attack; 10 = Very severe attack.

During the following season two new cultivars Nina and Sol II were added to the evaluation and the dry-matter yield measured at milk ripe stage. Rust assessment was made on all cultivars and there was an indication that most introduced cultivars had severe to very severe attack. The locally grown oats had no attack at all. These assessments tended to show that higher seed and dry matter yielding oats can be obtained but their problem was attack by crown and stem rust, resulting in a complete crop loss in cooler years.

During the 1975/76 season, 363 spring oats cultivars were introduced from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Sweden. These were planted in single rows whose purpose was to use intra-varietal diversification in the form of multiline cultivars to supplement the conventional resistant cultivars as part of the programme of crown rust control. The cultivars that did not set seed due to crown rust attack were abandoned in the first season. Only 25 cultivars were then selected based on resistance to crown rust. These were grown for four consecutive seasons and their mean dry matter, seed yield and other characters are as shown in Table 11. The cultivars Palestine and Orient were outstanding for earliness of maturity which was under 100 days. Based on crown rust assessment, Suregrain was the most resistant cultivar followed by C. Iowa, Clinton, Gidgee, C.I. 3821 and Ballidu.

During the 1982/83 season, the locally adapted Suregrain cultivar was tested for its nutritive quality in comparison with Napier grass (Table 12). Two trials were conducted at different growth stages of oats.

The results showed oats to be highly digestible, but digestibility falls with age. The normal harvest stage for Suregrain is about 135 days where it could be at milk-ripe stage.

Due to crown rust attack on the oats, different Triticale cultivars have been introduced, and assessments are in progress. So far, it has been shown that most Triticale cultivars are resistant to rusts and they give much higher dry-matter yield. Triticale cultivars have also shown a much higher seed-yield potential (Table 13). Most oats and Triticale cultivars outyielded the standard cultivar Suregrain.

Table 11. Dry matter, seed yield, 1,000 kernel weight and hull content of selected oats cultivars (four-year average data) (1978-1981).


DM (kg/ha)

Seed yield (kg/ha)

Months to forage harvest

1,000 kernel wt (g)

Hull content (%)

Rust attack (0-10)

Ajax 4100 217 4.9 24.3 30.9 7.6
C. Iowa 3340 172 4.9 21.6 31.4 3.4
Clinton 3400 488 5.1 27.6 40.2 4.3
M.H. Iowa 4010 260 5.1 24.6 48.2 5.2
N.I. fra. Iowa 3770 208 4.2 22.4 33.6 4.7
Gidgee 3880 480 4.6 30.5 34.1 4.3
Mulga 3260 314 5.3 32.0 36.8 6.0
Kareela 3420 164 4.9 22.9 36.8 4.5
Dale 3080 470 3.5 29.9 35.4 4.7
Orient 3100 363 3.2 28.4 39.0 5.1
Ballidu 3180 215 3.9 18.6 33.0 4.3
Fulghum 3250 427 4.2 28.7 43.0 4.5
Early Burt 3200 365 4.6 28.6 37.5 5.3
Palestine C.I. 3600 2980 373 3.9 35.4 38.3 7.7
C.I. 3920 2680 395 4.6 33.3 41.5 7.3
C.I. 3821 3440 223 4.6 30.7 50.4 4.2
A. abyssinica 2950 189 4.6 30.3 39.7 6.2
A. abyssinica 2800 496 4.6 36.9 32.9 9.0
Shmya 2970 163 5.1 21.7 46.7 4.8
Daubeney 3910 340 5.1 34.1 29.4 6.7
Palestine 3010 377 3.2 33.3 47.2 5.7
C.I. 2424 3220 298 4.9 21.6 40.0 4.9
Fulgrain 3480 596 5.3 31.9 35.0 6.5
Fulgrain (coker) 3060 200 4.2 30.2 35.4 5.5
C.I. 7488 3720 403 4.2 32.2 32.0 7.5
Suregrain 2700 260 4.6 31.5 33.4 0.5

Table 12. Dry-matter digestibility and intake of oats and Napier grass at different growth stages.


Trial I

Trial II

82 days

156 days

Napier grass

97 days

171 days

Napier grass

Digestibility, % intake 64.5 55.2 32.9 54.7 49.8 47.1
(g/kg W0.75) 77.0 41.0 34.9 47.2 50.0 45.8

Table 13. Comparison of selected forage oats and Triticale cultivars for dry-matter and seed yield (kg/ha).



Dry-matter yield (kg/ha)

Seed yield kg/ha







Suregrain 2930 5900 7650 5490 300
C.I. 3920 4350 6910 8530 6600 730
C.I. 7488 4470 5340 8240 6020 1030
Avena abyssinica 4850 4680 8770 6100 900
Palestine 4670 6020 7180 5950 800


T11 - 152 5520 4690 7800 6000 1630
T11 - 234 5640 4920 7370 5980 2370
T11 - 158 5780 5040 8980 6600 1540
T10 - 9 5800 6760 7850 6800 1450
T10 - 211 - 8 5740 5620 9230 6860 1170


No sorghum germplasm introductions were made at the Centre until 1982 when seed of Sorghum almum cv Sugardrip was obtained from Australia. Since it is a crop that can be rationed, it was grown either in pure stand or in mixture with Greenleaf and Silverleaf Desmodium, Seca Stylo, Cook Stylo, Siratro and Tinaroo Neonotonia. Average data for two seasons indicated sorghum to give 8 tonnes DM per hectare in pure stand when cut three times per season while the yield was drastically reduced in mixtures with legumes as indicated by the data in Table 14. Such mixtures proved a failure during the third season as most sorghum plants were completely smothered by the legumes.

Table 14. Dry-matter yield of Sorghum almum cv Sugardrip when grown in pure stand or in mixture with different legumes.


Sorghum yield kg DM/ha

Legume yield kg DM/ha


Pure sorghum 8090 - 8090
Sorghum + Seca stylo 1330 1700 3030
Sorghum + Cook stylo 390 1270 1660
Sorghum + Siratro 710 1110 1820
Sorghum + Silverleaf Desmodium 410 12780 13190
Sorghum + Greenleaf Desmodium 170 16670 16840
Sorghum + Neonotonia 1030 7870 8900


The introduction of lupines at Uyole was aimed at improving soil fertility through crop rotations, increasing quality of the available fodders and supplying green feed during the early to mid-part of the dry season. During the 1971/72 season two species of lupines (Lupinus albus and Lupinus angustifolius) were introduced from Sweden and subjected to a planting dates trial the results of which are presented in Table 15.

In this particular evaluation, it was shown that lupines could be planted as late as mid-March without affecting either seed or forage yield. Lupines planted mid-March would be ready for feeding in mid-July under Uyole conditions. For grain production, late planted lupines grew longer into the dry season resulting in much shattering of the seed.

Having established that lupines could help solve feed quality and supply problems, more cultivars were introduced in 1974 for further evaluation. Results showed the L. albus cultivar Kulina to be the most outstanding. The most promising ten cultivars are currently being further tested for dry-matter yield and alkaloid content.

Table 15. Dry matter, seed yield (kg/ha) and 1000 kernel weight of two lupine species under different planting dates.


DM yield kg/ha

Seed yield kg/ha

1000 kernel weight (g)

1. Blue sweet lupines L. albus

2.12.71 9500 1565 118.6
22.12.71 7330 1077 130.6
17.1.72 7930 67 -
1.2.72 8360 358 148.8
19.2.72 9860 - -
10.3.72 6890 450 -
2. White Sweet Lupine (L. angustifolius cv Uniwhite)
2.12.71 9180 1047 116.3
22.12.71 6070 962 138.5
17.1.72 7780 617 144.5
1.2.72 8320 973 157.1
19.2.72 9160 865 157.1
10.3.72 9270 1300 -

Source: Anon (1973).

Fodder-Sugar Beets

Germplasm evaluation started in 1971 at Uyole with the introduction of two beet cultivars (Aring Barres fodder-beet and Triumf sugarbeet) from Sweden. The sugar beet Triumf outyielded the fodder beet Aring Barres in a progressive harvesting date trial (Table 16). The dry-matter content of leaves varied from 9% for the first harvest data to 60% during the last for both cultivars; while that of roots varied from 9% to 19%. This trial demonstrated the advantages of growing beet for fodder. When planted in January the crop can be left in the field up to November without very much affecting the yield.

Thirty-three cultivars of fodder beets and 42 cultivars of sugar beets were further introduced. The sugar beets gave much higher yields than fodder beets, and in most cases sugar beets had a dry-matter content of above 25% while fodder beets had below 20%. There was a tendency for declining yield with the progressing years which could probably be due to inadequate phosphorus fertilization which was at the rate of 44 kg P/ha. Beets have been reported from California to require rates of between 49.3 kg to 148 kg P/ha (de Geus, 1973). Sugar beets gave yields ranging from 3-7 t DM ha, whereas the fodder beets gave a yield range in excess of 6 t DM/ha. The major problem encountered with this crop is seed production as the plants cannot bolt in Tanzania.

Table 16. Dry-matter yield of fodder-sugar beets under delayed harvesting at Uyole (kg/ha) roots and leaves (planted in January 1971).

Harvesting date

Aring Bares


5/4 4360 5630
3/5 6580 9330
1/6 9340 12390
1/7 8100 11890
2/8 7520 10890
2/9 8480 10370
1/10 8160 11880
8/11 7670 10250
Means 7526 SD 1506 10329 SD 2154

Fodder Shrubs


This is one of the first fodder shrubs to be introduced at Uyole. Introductions started in 1981 from coffee plantations in Mbozi district where it was planted as a shade tree for coffee. Further introductions were made in 1982 from Australia. These were var. Peruvian ex. Aust. Yates; K28; K8; Cunningham; var. Peruvian Ex. Tengeru, Kongwa and Morogoro. All the introduced cultivars were shrubs except that collected from Mbozi which grows to 7 m high when undisturbed. So far no data have been collected on dry-matter yield, but from observations var. Peruvian Ex. Aust. Yates has a more prolific branching habit and is leafier. Seed production of all cultivars is quite good.

Galega orientalis (Goats rue)

This particular shrub legume was introduced from Helsinki University, Finland in 1986. Growth during the first year was very slow. Information from Helsinki (Varis, 1986) indicates that its quality can exceed that of lucerne. Observations on it are taking place.

Desmodium ransonii

This legume was introduced from West Kilimanjaro in 1984. It has proved to be a non-branching legume that grows to a height of about 8 m. It has a very weak stem and even at that height it is less leafy.


The suite of germplasm introduced and evaluated is wide. It ranges from the annual perennial fodders of temperate origin to the tropical/subtropical grasses and legumes including shrubs/trees. The promise of some of the species has to be matched with feed requirements of the existing livestock production systems in the Southern Highlands region of Tanzania. Research efforts have logically to be directed towards studying the animal production potentials of some of these forage and fodder germplasm.


Anon. 1972. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1970/71.

Anon. 1973. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1971/72.

Anon. 1976. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1972/73; 1973/74.

Anon. 1977. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1974/75.

Anon. 1980. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1975/76.

Anon. 1986. Annual Research Report (Arti-Mbeya) 1982/83. de Geus Jan. G. 1973. Fertilizer guide for the tropics and subtropics. Centre d' etude de L'Azote. Zurich.

Gohl. 1975. Tropical feeds: Feeds information summaries and nutritive values. FAO Feeds Information Centre, Animal. Prod. and Health Div., Rome.

Heady, H.F. 1978. Range and wildlife management in the tropics. Longman, London.

Kamasho, J.A. and Singh, B.R. 1982. A case study of copper and zinc in Mbeya district. J. of Pedology, Ghent.

Mukurasi, N.J. 1984. Alfalfa and grass production in a high altitude monsoonal climate; Tanzania. Swedish Univ. of Agric. Sci. Publication Report No. 131, Uppsala.

Myoya, T.J. 1980. Pasture research 1970/78. Research Report No. 28, UAC.

Steward D. 1961. New ways with seeds of sugarbeet In: Seeds: The Yearbook of Agriculture, US Dept. of Agric., Washington, D.C. pp. 199-205.

Varis, E. 1986. Galega orientalis (Goats rue), a potential pasture legume for temperate conditions. Journal of Agric. Sci. in Finland 58:83-101.

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