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    Hybrid Super Napier grass yields 4× regular varieties

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    By George Munene

    The hy­brid Super Napier grass is amongst the fast­est grow­ing an­imal fod­der crops at­tain­ing a height of 2.4 meters in just 60 days after plant­ing, grow­ing to 3.7 meters in an­other month's time when it is ready for its first har­vest. 

    Dubbed the ‘king of Napi­ers’ an acre of super Napier or Pakchong1 yields 180-200 tons of bio­mass in a year. After the first har­vest sub­sequent cut­ting is made every 60 days four to five times a year

    The grass has a healthy crude pro­tein con­tent of 6-18% dic­tated by plant­ing con­di­tions and man­age­ment level. This is es­pe­cially cru­cial for milk pro­duc­tion in dairy cows. 

    Its sweet taste coupled with its being smooth, lack­ing the short itchy hairs com­mon with tra­di­tional Napier vari­et­ies makes it highly pal­at­able to live­stock as well as being easy to handle for farm­ers.

    Re­lated News: New plant­ing method in­creases Napier grass yields by 20 per cent and milk yields by 50 per cent

    Re­lated News: In­ter­crop­ping Napier grass with maize con­trols de­struct­ive stem borer

    Both the cut and carry as well as sil­aging meth­ods of feed­ing can be em­ployed. Hav­ing wa­ter-sol­uble car­bon­ate 18 there is no need for ad­dit­ives in stor­ing it as sil­age. It is however not re­com­men­ded for hay­mak­ing owing to its high mois­ture con­tent.

    Pakchong1 is a per­en­nial deep-rooted plant that is long-lived last­ing eight to nine years once it is sowed. The grass’ stems need to be cut to ground level to allow for the re­growth of tillers. They have a high leaf to stem rate with 6–8 cm broad leaves.

    Super Napier ex­hib­its all weather-friendly growth, is drought-res­ist­ant and can grow in any re­gion ir­re­spect­ive of wet or dry sea­sons. Ag­ro­nomic prac­tices such as ir­rig­a­tion when soil mois­ture is low and ma­nur­ing cre­at­ing or­ganic mat­ter-rich grow­ing con­di­tions spur re­growth.

    Re­lated News: Re­search or­gan­iz­a­tion launches high yield­ing dis­ease res­ist­ant Napier grass vari­et­ies

    The grass ought to be grown in fur­rows made loose by wa­ter­ing. Cut­tings are planted 90 cm * 60 cm apart then covered with one to two inches of soil. 10,000-12,000 stems can be planted on an acre then reg­u­larly ir­rig­ated and ma­nured to en­hance ger­min­a­tion. 

    Super Napier is a hy­brid Napier Grass de­veloped by cross­ing or­din­ary Napier with pearl mil­let by Thai live­stock nu­tri­tion­ists.

    To order Super Napier grass in Kenya; 0715124053

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