Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Forages for the Future Newsletter No 4

760 views

Published on

GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR CONSERVATION & UTILISATION
OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FORAGES Issue 4 – July 2017

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
  • If u need a hand in making your writing assignments - visit ⇒ www.WritePaper.info ⇐ for more detailed information.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Did u try to use external powers for studying? Like ⇒ www.HelpWriting.net ⇐ ? They helped me a lot once.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Hi there! I just wanted to share a list of sites that helped me a lot during my studies: .................................................................................................................................... www.EssayWrite.best - Write an essay .................................................................................................................................... www.LitReview.xyz - Summary of books .................................................................................................................................... www.Coursework.best - Online coursework .................................................................................................................................... www.Dissertations.me - proquest dissertations .................................................................................................................................... www.ReMovie.club - Movies reviews .................................................................................................................................... www.WebSlides.vip - Best powerpoint presentations .................................................................................................................................... www.WritePaper.info - Write a research paper .................................................................................................................................... www.EddyHelp.com - Homework help online .................................................................................................................................... www.MyResumeHelp.net - Professional resume writing service .................................................................................................................................. www.HelpWriting.net - Help with writing any papers ......................................................................................................................................... Save so as not to lose
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Have you ever used the help of ⇒ HelpWriting.net ⇐? They can help you with any type of writing - from personal statement to research paper. Due to this service you'll save your time and get an essay without plagiarism.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • One of the key benefits of ⇒ HelpWriting.net ⇐ clients is that you communicate with writer directly and manage your order personally.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here

Forages for the Future Newsletter No 4

  1. 1. GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR CONSERVATION & UTILISATION OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FORAGES Issue 4 – July 2017 In the dark months of European winter, it’s good time to tidy … and get rid of old papers. When I did my PhD on characterizing a large germplasm collection of Stylosanthes scabra, my German professor used to say: “We have the winter for data analysis, rethinking our research and other essentials” —while I spent the time for my PhD field research in Colombia and further decades of work in the tropics, where there was no winter—never there was time to clear things out it seems … Among the 30-year-old (!) piles of computer printouts and other papers, meticulously filed long ago, there were some notes on legumes that appear quite up-to-date. For example, I had jotted down a citation from Williams et al. (1976) “The prospects for further advancement via new species or new cultivars are therefore very real so that [legume] plant introduction is undoubtedly capable of making major contributions to tropical pasture development.” So where are our forage legumes? Where are your stories? We recognize that this 4th Newsletter has become quite ‘grassy’. Contributions focus strongly on the usefulness of grasses, Napier and Guinea grass among others. We would therefore love to invite you to send us more on legumes for future issues! Yes, there will be 3 Newsletter issues this year. The good news is that the Global Crop Diversity Trust has again engaged Bruce Pengelly and me to further implement the Strategy developed in 2015. Besides producing more Newsletters this year, our priorities will be: (i) to encourage adoption of some key recommendations of the Strategy by national tropical and subtropical forages programs such as those of Brazil, India, Argentina, Australia and South Africa, and (ii) to support implementation of the strategy in the CGIAR TSTF genebanks, particularly CIAT and ILRI. In a separate development, Dr Michael Peters from CIAT has confirmed that the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will fund an update of SoFT, the 12-year old and widely used selection tool for tropical forages. That update will not only revise the content of the tool, but also take it from being only available via a browser, to being accessible from modern devices like tablets and smartphones—exciting developments! Don’t forget to share this newsletter and its announcements (see page 8) with your inter- ested colleagues! And if you still want to look up any story from the previous issues, they are all under the News section of the journal Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales— thanks to the editors! Brigitte Maass & Bruce Pengelly Feeding goats on Guinea grass AfarmerinnorthernThailandprefers MombasaGuinea grass, thoughNapiergrassproducedhigherdrymatter. In spiteofchopping,stillmuch refusal ofstemsoccurredin Napier, notresisting frequentcuttingandplantsdied. Page 5 Training in forage seed production The ILRI Herbage Seed Unit has trained many potential entrepreneurs and has supplied larger quantities of seed to support forage development. Page 7 Forages for the Future
  2. 2. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 2 PRIORITIZING LEGUMES & GRASSES Abbreviations & Acronyms ACIAR Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research ASF Australian Friesian Sahiwal cattle BMZ German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research CWR Crop wild relatives CIAT Centro International de Agricultura Tropical DM Dry matter IGC International Grassland Congress ILRI International Livestock Research Institute IRC International Rangeland Conference NSSD Napier Smut and Stunt Diseases SoFT Tropical Forages – an Interactive Selection Tool TSTF Tropical and Sub-Tropical Forages Prioritisation of species was the main activity under the Efficiency Theme of the Global Strategy for the Conservation and Utilisation of Tropical and Subtropical Forage Genetic Resources in 2016 because it had the potential to have the most immediate impact on more efficient genebank management. Both grass and legume species were prioritized using a frame- work developed by a number of forage scientists. That process involved definition of 5 categories of species importance and key criteria on which prioritization would be assessed (Table 1). The process was initially confined to species held at ILRI and CIAT genebanks. These are amongst the most comprehensive genebanks in terms of numbers of taxa, but there are almost certainly several species held by national genebanks that were not included in the prioritization process. The lists are long with the combined list of species held at CIAT and ILRI comprising about 1300 legume spp. and >500 grass spp. And the total held globally would be even greater if all national genebank holdings were added to this statistics. Maintaining that number of species is a considerable commitment, especially at a time of scarce skills and financial resources. Using the prioritization process and categories, two eminent forage scientists, Dr Rainer Schultze- Kraft and Mr Bruce Cook, were asked to allocate species to one of the five categories. The prioritization lists will soon be available at the Crop Trust. Over 50% of grass and legume species held at either ILRI or CIAT were considered low priority in terms of potential forage value; those low priority species make up ~14% of all grass accessions, and 27% of all legume accessions. But 42% of legume and 50% of grass accessions belonged to species in Category 1. Possibly of greatest interests are the holdings of material in Categories 2 and 3, which are relatively small for both grasses and legumes. A further 2% of grass accessions and 5% of legume accessions were found to be crop-wild-relatives, which might be better conserved in crop-based genebanks. Implementing the results of prioritization in genebank management by archiving low priority germplasm and, at the same time, removing the many duplicates in TSTF genebanks would undoubtedly provide significant efficiencies and potentially reduce their costs of operation. Just as importantly, fewer total species and accessions being actively conserved would enable more focus on the most promising genetic material and in time, on-the-ground forage-based impacts. Continue on page 5 Table 1. Prioritization categories and their definition. Category Definition/explanation of species’ category 1 Species of known high value, included in SoFT or commercially useful somewhere 2 Identified as high potential for further development towards commercial use or emerging as one of high value somewhere 3 Often thought of as being interesting, but never with enough value to advance to category 1 or 2 4 Recognized anywhere as being of importance through its taxonomic affinity to (even minor) crop species (crop wild relatives, CWR) 5 Widely recognized as being of low value for forage or environmental use Prioritization of forage species
  3. 3. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 3 Introduction Napier grass or elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.1) is one of the most promoted grasses in the tropics, particularly for cut-and-carry small holder beef and dairy systems. It is a variable species from sub- Saharan Africa that was first brought into cultivation in the early 1900s in Zimbabwe. It is a “robust perennial forming large, bamboo-like clumps, with culms usually 2-3.5 m high (up to 7.5 m) and branched towards the top; stems to 3 cm diameter near the base.2” Since initial domestication, breeding and selection programs have been carried out within P. purpureum and through hybridisation with pearl/bulrush millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.3) to produce numerous types that are now cultivated and naturalised throughout the world tropics. In this article we express our belief that Napier and its hybrids are being promoted to farmers who are often unaware of its shortcomings or the existence of alternative species that are available and more appropriate to particular systems and environments. Napier grass 6 weeks – 50% stem (top) and 4 weeks– mostly leaf (bottom) in Vietnam. Photos by BG Cook Feeding Napier grass Napier grass is capable of extremely high dry matter production, some claiming annual dry matter yields of 140 tonnes per hectare. However, the Kenyan forage plant scientist, AV Bogdan , concluded from published work that annual dry matter yields on-farm were more likely to be 2-10 T/ha with low fertilizer use and 6-30 T/ha in well fertilized stands. While potential for high yields is often portrayed as strength and used to justify promotion, high yield can also be a weakness. The extremely high yields that are only achieved in Napier grown in deep, moist, well-drained, very fertile soil and when plants are cut infrequently comprise a high proportion of stem material that livestock do not eat, and a low proportion of leaf that contains most of the plant’s digestible nutrient. Animal production is further constrained under infrequent cutting as nutrient concentration in the leaves declines with age. In order to maximize the amount of “fodder” collected and to simplify handling and transport, farmers typically cut mature grass (e.g. 10-12 weeks) when the stand has a high percentage of stem, rather than at 4 weeks when leaf percentage and nutritive value of leaf are still high. Animal production from leafy forage grass is substantially higher than that from a more mature stand of the same species with stems and seed-heads, providing feed on offer is not limited. Unfortunately, Napier is not suited to cutting on a 4-week cycle because plants gradually die over a 2 – 3 year period under such management. A commonly recommended practice is to chop mature Napier grass in preparation for feeding, partly for ease of feeding out and partly in the mistaken belief that it improves digestibility of stems and minimises the animal’s ability to select leaf. Unfortunately, when presented with the mixture of chopped mature Napier grass leaf and stem, animals invariably spend time and energy selecting chopped leaf from the feed on offer. It is not surprising that there is commonly a pile of Napier grass stem discarded after each feed whether chopped or not. Fertilizing Napier Much of the Napier promotion places little emphasis on fertilizer needs of the grass. Tops of any high yielding plants contain commensurately high levels of the nutrients essential for plant growth, all of which are removed in a cut-and-carry system. Without replacement of these nutrients, plant growth inevitably declines as the finite soil nutrient resources are depleted. Consider a simple nutrient balance sheet for three of the major elements in the tops of a moderately produc- tive stand of a tropical grass, producing 20 tonnes of DM/ha each year with an average of 12.5% crude protein (2% N). This material would contain about 400 kg nitrogen/ha, the equivalent of 870 kg urea or 67 tonnes of dairy manure (0.6%N)/ha, and would also contain 40 kg phosphorus (P) and 400 kg potassium (K)/ha, equivalent to 20 tonnes and 80 tonnes of manure, respectively. If the dry matter yield were up to 7 times that level as claimed for Napier, the amount of nutrient removed and the amount necessary for replacement would need to be increased by a factor of 7. Such high levels of fertiliser application are not used by farmers. AFS cows selecting Napier leaf (left) over chopped Napier stem (right) and rice straw (bottom right) in Vietnam. Photo by BG Cook Napier grass stem (top) and leaf (bottom) in Vietnam. Photos by BG Cook Is Napier grass being over- promoted?
  4. 4. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 4 Napier grass diseases All grasses are subject to disease or insect attack, sometimes with serious consequences e.g. leaf rust in Digitaria eriantha, yellows disease in Pennisetum clandestinum, blight in Cenchrus ciliaris and spittle bug in Brachiaria decumbens. Napier grass monoculture is becoming increasingly common in some areas due to excessive promotion as “the wonder grass” by research and development agencies, and diseases such as Napier Grass Stunt Disease, Napier Grass Head Smut and Snow Mould Fungal Disease have become more prevalent. The use of resistant varieties provides short- and even long-term relief, but resistance to one particular strain of a disease organism does not guarantee long-term immunity from the problem, since disease organisms mutate and quarantine barriers can be breached. However, all grasses are not necessarily attacked by the same suite of disease- causing organisms, or the same damaging insects. To minimise the danger of destructive epidemic and loss of the farmer’s livelihood through dependence on a single species or variety of a species, it is wise to use more than one grass in a production system. ____ 1. also Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone 2. http://www.tropicalforages.info/ 3. also also Cenchrus americanus (L.) Morrone 4. Bogdan AV. 1977. Tropical pasture and fodder plants (Grasses and Legumes). Longman, London. 475 pp This opinion piece by An Notenbaert, CIAT’s Tropical Forages Coordinator, Africa first appeared in Kenya’s Business Daily Newspaper on May 1st. With the onset of the rains, livestock farmers around Kenya might breathe a sigh of relief. But they have come too late for the thousands of cattle that have already died, hit by the drought. Milk prices have been ramped up and output has halved. Yet this phenomenon will not be solved by rain alone. It is down fundamental challenges which go deeper than drought: in particular, low availability of good quality livestock feed – especially during the dry season. Brachiaria hybrid cv. Mulato II, Ethiopia. Photo by A Robertson Panicum maximum cv. Vencedor, Eritrea. Photo by BG Cook The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is working to make high- quality forages like improved Brachiaria available across Africa. Amid more erratic weather conditions, deepening drought and higher temperatures, this could not only avert the deaths of thousands of cattle, but prevent millions of farmers from losing their livelihoods too. Read the whole text and more details on CIAT’s Blog! CONTACTS: An Notenbaert, Kenya (Email: a.notenbaert@cgiar.org) Georgina Smith, Kenya (Email: g.smith@cgiar.org) Alternatives to Napier grass While Napier is an important grass, it is often recommended at the expense of valuable alternatives. Like other grasses, Napier has limitations in relation to animal productivity, environmental adaptation and defoliation and soil fertility management. 2,4 Other grasses can be used to complement Napier, not only in terms of insect and disease tolerance, but also in terms of feed quality, seasonal growth, drought tolerance, and tolerance of poor drainage etc. Grasses such as the various Brachiaria hybrids and Panicum maximum remain leafy longer; the Brachiaria hybrids are well-adapted to low fertility, acid soils; Setaria sphacelata is tolerant of poor drainage; and all can tolerate regular cutting. Most importantly, many have higher nutritive value than Napier at similar stage of growth. Once introduced to such species, farmers in countries around the tropics, including Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Vietnam, and a number in East Africa, have recognized their value and moved away from complete dependence on Napier. CONTACTS: Bruce Cook, Australia (Email: brucecook@aapt.net.au) Alan Robertson, Australia (Email: robertson.oaky@gmail.com) LINK: http://www.tropicalforages.info/ NEWS ILRI opened state-of-the-art genebank and bio- science facilities in Ethiopia in April 2017. The new facilities will help protect the diverse grasses and legumes that feed the world’s livestock. Read more. Photo by Georgina Smith Opinion piece: Kenya’s drought masks a deeper problem with livestock feed
  5. 5. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 5 A farmer in northeast Thailand raises goats for sale as breeding stock to farmers in central Thailand. The goats are fed on a diet of dry cassava meal, mineral pellets and fresh Mombasa grass. The goats are able to feed on the cassava meal and mineral pellets from feeding troughs 24 hours/day. Fresh Mombasa grass is cut twice a day, early morning and late afternoon, and placed in feeding racks. When the farm was first established seven years ago, the farmer planted Pakchong 1 Hybrid Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum x P. glaucum). This grass produced a large amount of dry matter but the stems and leaves had to be chopped before the goats would eat the grass. Even then, a lot of the stem material was not eaten. With frequent cutting every 35-45 days, the crowns of Pakchong 1 Napier grass took longer and longer to recover and within two years many plants had died. Sustainable grass production The farmer decided to try Mombasa Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) five years ago, which had only recently been introduced into Thailand. He found that Mombasa can be frequently cut every 30-35 days, recovers very quickly, the stems do not have to be chopped, the goats rapidly eat all the leaves and stems (there is no wastage) and, after five years, the Mombasa fields show no sign of aging or loss of production. The goats readily eat all the Mombasa forage offered to them, whereas when they ate the chopped Pakchong 1 Napier grass, there was a lot of wastage. The goats still receive the same amounts of dry cassava meal, mineral pellets, but as they eat all the Mombasa grass offered to them, their overall weight and health is considerably better than when they were fed Napier grass. CONTACT: Michael Hare, Thailand (Email: michaelhareubon@gmail.com) Publish your research results in: Cutting Mombasa guinea grass; all three photos by Michael Hare Collecting cut Mombasa guinea grass Male billy goat eating Mombasa Guinea grass FURTHER READING: Hare et al. 2013. Effect of cutting interval on yield and quality of two Panicum maximum cultivars in Thailand. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales 1:87-89. Hare et al. 2014. Botantical and agronomic growth of two Panicum maximum cultivars, Mombasa and Tanzania, at varying sowing rates. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales 2:246-253. Hare et al. 2015. Effect of nitrogen on yield and quality of Panicum maximum cvv. Mombasa and Tanzania in Northeast Thailand. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales 3: 27-33. Prioritization of forage species from page 2 The prioritization results provide a foundation for genebank conservation and research priorities for the next decade and beyond. Some of the possible implications include: 1. Partnerships with other genebanks founded on mutual benefits from working on agreed species, which are priorities for partners (e.g. exchanging germplasm, joint diversity studies). 2. Changes in genebank management through rationalization of all key genebank tasks (i.e. acquisition, quarantine, phytosanitary clearances, regeneration, long-term and backup storage, seed viability testing, distribution, information management and communication). 3. A refocusing of characterization and associated diversity research towards the highest priority species. 4. Demonstrable efficiency gains and, in time, evidence linking on-the-ground forage impacts back to strategic genebank research and activities based on prioritization decisions. Some of the management implications associated with each category include: The size of Category 1, and in some cases Category 2, suggests a need to assess the real genetic diversity being held so that core collections can be established to facilitate availability, and to gain efficiencies in regeneration, which is always a major commitment and expense for genebanks. Categories 2 and 3 should be the focus of new characterization and evaluation studies, including gap analysis (see page 6). The limited diversity in some of these species might focus new acquisitions including plant collecting. Bruce Pengelly & Brigitte Maass Growing Mombasa Guinea grass to raise goats in northeast Thailand
  6. 6. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 6 Mucuna is now considered an important forage with too narrow diversity; photo AF van Rooyen What is archiving an accession? Archiving an accession means storing it, but moving it out of active genebank management in a way that supports its long-term conservation under optimal or near optimal conditions. However, archived material is usually no longer monitored for viability, or assessed for genetic integrity/diversity (Engels 2004; Engels and Visser 2003). The large number of species and accessions in Category 5 provides challenges but also potential efficiencies in genebank management. It is not proposed to completely discard these accessions for a range of reasons. But archiving most of Category 5 in long-term storage (e.g. Svalbard Global Seed Vault) or transferring it to collections or botanical gardens that have an interest in diversity per se, rather than diversity for use in tropical and subtropical forages, are possible options. Devoting resources to conserving this low-potential material in forage genebanks will undoubtedly impair the ability of forage genebank managers achieving their overall goal of being the source of the best forage genetic material and a most important source of information on species adaptation and diversity. Brigitte Maass & Bruce Pengelly References Engels JMM 2004. Plant genetic resources management and conservation strategies: problems and progress. ISHS Acta Hort. 634:113-125. Engels JMM & Visser L (Eds) 2003. A guide to effective management of germplasm collections (No. 6). Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. (pp. 51-52). Forages ex situ collections are made up of a large number of genera and species. For example, the ILRI collection contains accessions of more than 1000 legume species and 500 grasses, while CIAT reports keeping more than 800 species in total. These forage collections contain the genetic diversity that helps farmers to thrive in several environments and farming systems across the tropics and sub-tropics. During 2016, we embarked in the design and implementation of the Global Strategy for the Conservation and Utilisation of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Forage Genetic Resources. Within the strategy, scientists categorized forages according to their utilization potential. Each category is being assigned a research strategy. Five categories were obtained. Species in categories 2 and 3 were recognized of high to moderate potential use, but future research might be restricted due to the limited diversity available of these species. A systematic study of gaps With this in mind, we are conducting a systematic study to understand the current representativeness of forages from categories 2 and 3 in ex situ collections, and to identify geographic areas where new material can be collected. For this, we will apply a gap analysis methodology. This approach uses coordinates and locality descriptions of the places where each species has been collected and/or recorded to produce potential geographic distribution models. The gap analysis uses three metrics to estimate species representativeness in ex situ collections: 1) Sampling Representative Score: this score gives a gross estimation of what is represented in genebanks compared to reference records (i.e., herbarium specimens, unviable accessions). 2) Geographic Representative Score: this score estimates the geographic coverage represented in genebanks against the total potential distribution of each species. 3) Environmental Representative Score: this score quantifies the number of distinct environmental units represented in genebanks compared to the complete extent of the species. The Geographic and Environmental Representativeness score are used as proxies to estimate the diversity of each species under analysis. The average of the three numeric gap analysis scores produces a final priority score, and this in turn is used to categorize species according to urgency for being further collected. Once the collecting and conservation priorities are identified, the species distribution models are used to map the geographies where species of high priority for conservation could be found. Such maps help to prioritize and select regions for future collecting missions. A high quality gap analysis depends on accurate georeferenced occurrence data and the iterative participation of experts. Therefore, your active participation and collaboration is welcome and very much appreciated! If interested, please send us an email. CONTACT: Nora Castañeda-Álvarez, Global Crop Diversity Trust (Email: nora.castaneda@croptrust.org) FURTHER READING: Castañeda-Álvarez et al. (2016) Global conservation priorities for crop wild relatives. Nature Plants 2, Article # 16022; doi: 10.1038/nplants.2016.22. Training on forage seed production in Ethiopia; photo ILRI Forage conservation priorities
  7. 7. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 7 Forage seed production at Karama Station; photos by M Mutimura Rwanda The Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute (ISAR, its French Acronym) began the evaluation of forage genotypes for abiotic stress tolerance in 2006; this included tole- rance to acidic soil and aluminium toxicity. Initially, research focused on improved Brachiaria genotypes. Brachiaria hybrid cv. Mulato II was among the Brachiaria cultivars preferred by farmers because of its year- round green forage [2]. Mulato II is therefore considered an excellent grass and preferred over Napier grass [1], which still is the major feed resource in the country, especially for dairy cows in smallholder systems [3]. Ten Brachiaria hybrids and cultivars have been evaluated to develop climate-smart agri- culture; chemical composition and livestock productivity were tested. When compared to Napier grass, B. brizantha cv. Piatá increased milk up to 35%, while cv. Mulato II increased up to 44% of daily body weight gain [4]. Napier Smut and Stunt Diseases (NSSD) have recently been confirmed in Rwanda, where Eastern and Western Provinces had higher prevalence than the rest of the country [5]. Different Napier grass varieties have been evaluated for NSSD tolerance. Three Napier grass clones known for their NSSD tolerance have been introduced to Rwanda from Uganda and evaluated for agronomic characteristics and disease tolerance. Preliminary on-station results showed Kakamega I, and clones number 112 and 1679 free of NSSD symptoms. F forage legumes have also been evaluated for drought tolerance by applying stable carbon isotope signature, as these forages use the C3 photosynthetic pathway. Canavalia brasiliensis has been found the best in water use efficiency, its richness in carbon signature, and high dry matter production compared to other tropical legumes tested, e.g. Desmodium intortum, Desmodium uncinatum and Lablab purpureus [6]. At Karama Research Station of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), forages are currently established on more than 62 ha. Large part of this area is for seed production because of the strongly increased demand for forages in the country. Areas were especially expanded for the forage grasses Chloris gayana, Cenchrus ciliaris, Brachiaria hybrid Mulato II, Panicum coloratum, B. brizantha cv. Marandu; legumes include Desmodium distortum, Lablab purpureus (accessions CIAT 22759 and CIAT 22598). CONTACT: Mupenzi Mutimura, RAB, Rwanda (Email: m.mutimura@rab.gov.rw) Forage seed production at Karama Station _____ 1. Maass et al. 2015. Homecoming of Brachiaria: Improved hybrids prove useful for African animal agriculture. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 81:71–78. 2. Mutimura & Everson 2012. On-farm evaluation of improved Brachiaria grasses in low rainfall and aluminium toxicity prone areas of Rwanda. International J. Biodiversity & Conservation 4:137–154. 3. Mutimura et al. 2015. Nutritional values of available ruminant feed resources in smallholder dairy farms in Rwanda. Tropical Animal Health and Production 47:1131–1137. 4. Mutimura et al. 2016. Change in growth performance of crossbred (Ankole × Jersey) dairy heifers fed on forage grass diets supplemented with commercial concentrates. Tropical Animal Health and Production 48:741–746. 5. Nyiransengimana et al. 2013. Status of Napier grass stunt disease incidence in Rwanda. Proceedings of first biannual conference on agricultural research and extension: Confronting the challenges of food insecurity in the era of climate change and variability. Kigali, Rwanda. Book of Abstracts p. 80. 6. Wrage-Mönnig et al. 2014. Drought resistance of selected forage legumes for smallholder farmers in East Africa. European Grassland Federation, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. ILRI Herbage Seed Unit The ILRI forage Genebank provides seeds from its collection in small experimental quantities without charge as part of its policy of maximizing the utilization of material for research, breeding and training. However, the non-availability of larger quantities of seed is considered a major constraint to the widespread adoption of forages, and the ILRI Herbage Seed Unit was established in 1989 in response to the perceived need to promote access to forage seeds and to support and enhance the incorporation of forages into sustainable farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Based in Ethiopia, the unit works to:  strengthen national capacity in the production of forage seeds by providing starter seeds;  train scientists and technicians in the technical aspects of forage seed production; and  make available information on forage management and forage seed techno- logy to farmers, extension workers and researchers in national programs, mainly through short courses. The unit primarily supplies starter seed to recipients in Ethiopia but has also delivered material to Tanzania and Uganda. The unit focuses on providing tropical forage seeds and planting material of selected ‘best-bet’ species. A reasonable cost is charged, allowing ILRI to recover production costs. The number of requests varies greatly from year to year: in 2015 the seed unit distributed 244 samples for a total weight of 1,900 kg of seed and 40,000 cuttings (mainly Napier grass); in 2016 it was 685 kg of seed and over 870,000 cuttings responding to 44 requests. Napier grass (P. purpureum) and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) are currently the most popular grasses and Lablab (Lablab purpureus) and Greenleaf desmodium (D. intortum) the most popular forage legumes. The seed unit also provides technical support in forage seed production to the ILRI FeedSeed project, which, with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has worked on the development of a sustainable forage seed production and marketing model for Ethiopia. To this end, FeedSeed has facilitated 30 forage seed agribusiness entrepreneurs to establish new businesses in Ethiopia. ILRI is encouraging these entre- preneurs to take over forage seed supply to producers, leaving ILRI to make available high quality basic seed for establishing new seed production plots. This initiative is starting to bear fruit, the total sales of seed and vegetative material being US$200,000 in 2015 and US$616,000 in 2016. CONTACT: Mr. Asebe Abdena, Forage Seed Production Officer. (Email: a.abdena@cgiar.org) ILRI Clippings: https://clippings.ilri.org/2014/04/29/ feedseed-training/ Forage development and seed production in Rwanda and at ILRI
  8. 8. FORAGES FOR THE FUTURE | Issue 4 8 FAST FACTS 50%When prioritizing species held in the international germplasm collections of CIAT and ILRI, 50% of grass and 42% of legume accessions were considered belonging to Category 1. But in terms of species, they only represented 11% and 4%, respectively. 15%Only 15% of the large forage germplasm collections of CIAT and ILRI consist of grass accessions, despite grasses being much more widely used as cultivated forages than legumes. FOR MORE INFORMATION Read the report on “A Global Strategy for the Conservation and Utilisation of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Forage Genetic Resources”. LETTERS TO THE EDITORS If you are not on the recipient list but you want to receive this newsletter, please contact us. If you are not interested in receiving further issues of this newsletter, please send us an email. Please share your opinions and write us letters regarding controversial issues. We are eager to debate with you your agreements or disagreements! Your opinions matter! Announcements VACANCY: Forage Genebank Manager (closing date: 31 July 2017) ILRI seeks to recruit a dynamic Forage Scientist with a keen interest in genetic-resources, to head the genebank at ILRI and to manage the composition of tropical and sub-tropical forage collections both at ILRI and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). This is a joint ILRI/CIAT position that will be based at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more. FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT The Joint XXIV International Grassland (IGC) and XI International Rangeland (IRC) congresses will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, October 25 – 30, 2020. The theme of the Congress is ‘Sustainable Use of Grassland/Rangeland Resources for Improved Livelihoods’. Read more. NEW BOOK by Lazier & Ahmad John Lazier and Nazeer Ahmad edited a book based on over 40 years of forage experience: Tropical forage legumes: Harnessing the potential of Desmanthus and other genera for heavy clay soils; published in 2016 by CABI. Read a book review by Bruce Cook (2017) in Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales. NEWS: please send your contributions to us! FROM THE JOURNAL: Vol. 5 No. 2 (May 2017) Research Papers Complementary use of neotropical savanna and grass-legume pastures for early weaning and effects on growth and metabolic status of weaners and inter-calving intervals of dams by Vera RR, Ramírez-Restrepo CA; pp. 50-65 Dry matter accumulation and crude protein concentration in Brachiaria spp. cultivars in the humid tropics of Ecuador by Garay JR, Cancino SJ, Zárate Fortuna P, Ibarra Hinojosa MA, Martínez González JC, González Dávila RP, Cienfuegos Rivas EG; pp. 66-76 Effects of harvesting age and spacing on plant characteristics, chemical composition and yield of desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum Trin.) in the highlands of Ethiopia by Genet Tilahun, Bimrew Asmare, Yeshambel Mekuriaw; pp. 77-84 Weeds alter the establishment of Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu [in Brazil] by de Marchi SR, Bellé JR, Foz CH, Ferri J, Martins D; pp. 85-93 NEXT NEWSLETTER ISSUE We aim at producing the next newsletter by early September 2017. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the CGIAR or the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Photos from the title page: top by BL Maass; right top by M Hare; right bottom by ILRI FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr Bruce Pengelly Bruce.Pengelly@gmail.com Dr Brigitte Maass Brigitte.Maass@yahoo.com Global Crop Diversity Trust Platz der Vereinten Nationen 7 53113 Bonn, Germany www.croptrust.org

×