Simple innovations to help you run your Organic Farm

~By Bernard Wainaina,Profarms Consultants®
Twitter handle;@PROFARMS
Cell;+254722659313{SMS & Whatsapp ONLY}

Innovation is crucial for the growth of any sector.

Agribusiness is a not an exception.

In these series, we unveil innovations to help you control ticks,make biogas from chicken droppings and prevent
soil diseases in tomato greenhouse


Yeast and Molasses -treated Maize Stover for cows during dry spell

Effective utilisation of large
quantities of maize stover and other crop residues available after every
harvest can solve the problem of inadequate supply of good quality forage to the dairy cows in
smallholder farms.

Shredding of the stover either in the field or at home will reduce the bulkiness while adding a formulation of molasses, urea, yeast and ruminant salt dissolved in water to form a liquid mixture is good for cows, particularly during dry season.

“One mature dairy cow can be given 10kg of shredded maize stover mixed thoroughly with the mixture containing 2kg molasses, 150g urea, 10 to 15g yeast and 200g ruminant salt, all dissolved in three to five litres of water in a plastic bucket,” say P. Migwi and Olivier Kashongwe of Egerton University, who are behind the innovation.

“The liquid mixture is normally sprinkled on the shredded maize stover using a watering can and
then thoroughly mixed in readiness for feeding,”they add.

For a cow producing milk, this ration is not adequate to meet nutrient requirements for both maintenance and milk production.

“Such a cow,therefore, needs some supplementation with daily meal or home-made concentrates at a rate of 1kg for every two-to-three litres of milk per day.

Adequate water and minerals also need to be provided to the cow,” the researchers say.

The researchers worked in conjunction with Kenya Agricultural Research Institute through the East
African Agricultural Productivity Project in developing the product.

Stover must be well-stored to protect it from vermin infestation (termites and rats), then processed through shredding and supplemented
with protein and minerals to sustain milk production during dry season.

“Stover when unprocessed has high content of lignified fibre and low content of protein nitrogen,which limit intake by cows because they take a very long time chewing in the process use a lot of energy to digest in the rumen. Consequently, in
this form, cows fed stover produce low milk.”

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®