Grassland Composition and Current Livestock Feeding Systems in Nekemte Awraja

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In thi s study , grassland compos ition and current livestock feeding systems practiced in Nekemte Awra j a were investigated. For the investigation of the grassland compositi on, plant materials from ninteen different sites of this Awraja wer e collected and identified. For the current livestock feeding systems practiced in the Awraj a, rep r esentat ive farmers were interviewed about the current li'ij'stock feeding systems practiced in their respective zones . As the r esult of this study shows , the vegetation of Nekemte Awraja changes with ~hange in elevation and based on this , the region is divided into three main e~ological zones, namely : Highland , Medium altitude and l owland zones. A total of 36 grasses, f our legumes, four s edges and 24 tree species were identified for the region. During the survey soil samples were also collected and analysed and the r esults are incluged. Grasses such as Andropogon abyssin i cus , Cynodon dactyl on , Pennisetum Schimperi and Fennisetum glabrum were dominant in t he highland zone of Nekemte Awr aja. ayarrhenia hirta, Hyparrhenia rufa and Sporobolus natalensis Commonly occur in the medium a ltitude zone . Penni se t um Schimperi and Pennisetum g l abrum were also f r equently f ound in this zone. I n the l owl and zone of this region Hyparrhenia species s uch as ~arrhenia diplandra, Hyparrhen i a antistirio i des and Hyparrhenia Collina were large l y grown . In general, grasses of good grazing va lue were found in larger proporation in the highland zone . The proportion of l egumes in all of the grasslands s tudied was very low. Soils in this Awraja in general are strongly t o moderately acidic . Phosphorus in these soils is low t o very low , organic carbon and total nitrogen are medium to high. In Nekemte Awraja , mixed farming is practiced , but farmers are engaged more in the production of cereal crops for family subsistance. Livestock are raised for draft purpose and to provide money in case of emergency. In this region , fire is used as the only tool of pasture management system. Fodder conservation method for the dry s eason feed is virtually unknown. Cattle in this region mainly feed on natural pastures. 'Atela' (a residue from preparing 'tella' or 'araki ' ), teff straw, boiled barley and finger millet bread are given mainly t o oxen and milking cows as a supplimentary feed.



Current Livestock Feeding Systems