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A comparison of in situ and in vitro methods to estimate in vivo fermentable organic matter of forages in ruminants

By J.M.J. Gosselink, J.P. Dulphy, C. Poncet, S. Tamminga and J.W. Cone

Abstract

Farmers in five districts of north-eastern Uganda were interviewed to generate information on sweet potato production and constraints, with emphasis on damage by millipedes. Participatory rural appraisal methodology was used to interview 148 farmers. The peak period of planting sweet potato was from the end of May till the beginning of July in order to produce dried form food (amukeke) for storage in the dry season, which sets in around November. Vine cuttings were usually planted on mounds and weeding was mostly done only once. Osukut, Araka Red and Araka White were the most popular varieties. Many respondents obtained planting material from volunteer plants. Separation of plots over time and in space was often not practised. Sweet potato crop rotations were diverse. Millet, groundnut and maize were commonly grown after sweet potato. Cassava, sweet potato, groundnut and maize are host crops for millipedes and were often grown in succession. Millipede incidences were not statistically different for the three agro-ecological zones of north-eastern Uganda, but depended on the frequency of millipede hosts (including sweet potato) in the crop rotations. Groundnut planted after sweet potato had high levels of millipede attack. Millipede incidence was often associated with the incidence of weevils. The results of this inventory show that most farmers consider millipedes as a pest of sweet potato and other major food and cash crops, but that many farmers lack the knowledge to control them

Year: 2004
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