Best management practices

Management of Napier smut disease
  • Inspect your crop regularly and remove the diseased parts of plants. Burn the diseased materials
  • Obtain planting material from areas free from the disease
  • Improve the health of the Napier grass by applying manure and fertiliser
  • Weed your grass after every harvest
  • Plant smut resistant clones such as Kakamega I and Kakamega II
  • Manure from livestock fed on smut infected plants may spread smut if used; precaution should be taken not to feed livestock with plants infected with smut to avoid spread of disease

Management of the stunting disease
  • Inspect the crop regularly, remove the diseased Napier grass stools and burn all the uprooted diseased materials
  • Use clean planting materials from disease free areas
  • Improve the health of the Napier grass by applying manure or fertilizer
  • Avoid harvesting same area frequently
  • When harvesting cut Napier leaving a stubble height of 5 to 10cm above ground level
  • If the area is seriously affected use alternative fodders such as Giant Panicum, Guatemala grass and fodder sorghum because most Napier varieties are susceptible to stunt
  • Sensitise neighbours about transmission mechanism and management of the disease 
Further reading
  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KARI, 2008. Research and Management of Napier Stunting and Smut disease Project Kenya. KARI: Kakamega
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