Pasture production

Kerio Valley Development Authority is currently a producer of pasture seed and is registered by KEPHIS as
a seed merchant involved in production, processing and marketing of pasture seed. Our flagship pasture seed is Cenchrus Ciliaris
(African Foxtail Grass) which is the grass of choice for Asal areas. The seed is packaged as Rangeland Pasture Seed in 2kg and 10 kg packets.
Pasture Management during Dry Spell
Pasture management during dry spells is a major challenge to livestock farmers/pastoralists especially when it fails to rain and
there is lack of pasture and fodder for their livestock. The situation can be quite costly to a farmer who was not prepared for
the drought. Maintaining a healthy herd through a dry spell calls for extra efforts by the farmers. Some of the measures farmers
take to cushion their investments against adverse effects of drought are culling and pasture management. Pasture production in most
pastoral areas in Kenya is based on Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass) and Erasgrostis superba (Maasai love grass) which are
the most popular pasture species in Arid and semi Arid lands (ASALS) where livestock rearing is the mainstay economic activity.
Pasture Seed: Cenchrus Ciliaris (African Foxtail Grass)
This is highly palatable grass species with high leaf production. It is one of the most popular cultivated pastures especially in the
most arid parts of Kenya. Under good management it can produce up to 200 bales of hay from one hectare of land.Its advantages are as follows:
It is easily established by seeding
It response quickly to low rainfall
It is drought tolerant
It is adapted to heavy grazing
It has a deep rooted system up to 2 m deep
Planting requirements entails a recommended seed rate of 5-10kgs per acre, whichare 5kgs per acre for slow establishment and 10kgs per acre
for quick establishment.

Hay making

Hay is a livestock feed resulting from drying of green grass. It can be stored and fed to livestock during the dry season when there is little growth
of grass.
Manual hay bailing is done using a manual baler or a bailing box with dimensions of 85cm long x55cm wide x45cm deep open on both sides. If the hay is well pressed the box will produce an average bale of 18-20kgs.Haymaking by bailing has the following advantages:

Baled hay is easy to store
Baled hay maintains quality longer even up to 2years
Less feeds are wasted
Conserves excess pasture in the rainy season
Characteristics of Good Quality Hay
Leafy and greenish in colour
Have no foreign material mixed with it
Have no smell
Baling the hay allows more material to be stored in a given space. A good estimate of the amount stored makes feed budgeting easier.