Effect of manure on grazing lands in Ethiopia, East African highlands

Biomass productivity, botanical composition, and soil physical properties were studied under conditions with and without application of manure. The study was conducted at the Debre Zeit station of the International Livestock Research Institute, located 50 km from Addis Ababa in the Ethiopian highlands. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of manure on botanical composition, plant biomass, and water infiltration rates. There were 3 treatments: no grazing, moderate grazing (MDG = 1.8 animal unit months (AUM)/hectare), and heavy grazing (HVG = 4.2 AUM/hectare), each replicated 4 times. Removing cow dung from grazed plots decreased biomass production. Species richness was higher on manured plots than on nonmanured plots. The water infiltration rate was low on grazed and nongrazed plots with no manure when compared with the manured plots.