Perennial forage crops for improved soil nitrogen cycling in East African smallholder dairy systems

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Livestock and dairy production are economically important in Rwanda, yet present challenges for
conservation agriculture.

• The farmer-preferred forage Napier grass (Cenchrus purpureus) is an inefficient feed source.

• Shifting to low-nitrifying cropping systems can reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and prevent the loss of leachable mineral nitrogen (N) from low-fertility soils.

• Little is known about N dynamics resulting from the use of ‘climate smart’ perennial forages, even while they are promoted as a conservation agriculture practice

Schaedel, Marie; Paul, Birthe; Mwendia, Solomon W.; Mutimura, M.; Grossman, J.

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