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MEANING OF PASTURES AND FORAGE CROPS | FULL EXPLANATION

Pasture: This is a piece of land on which forage crops grow.

Forage Crops: These are plants cultivated (or growing naturally) whose vegetative parts (leaves and stem) are fed on by livestock.

USES OF FORAGE CROPS

  1. They are used as livestock feeds
  2. They are used as cover crops which conserve soil moisture.
  3. They help in discouraging weed growth
  4. Some are leguminous in nature which enrich soil nutrient.
  5. For prevention of erosion
  6. Used as green manure
  7. Used for roofing farm steads
  8. As bedding materials

 TYPES OF PASTURES

  1. Natural pasture: also called natural grassland or rangeland is piece of land on which grasses and legumes grow naturally on their own and are fed upon by farm animals

CHARACTERISTICS OR FEATURES OF NATURAL PASTURE

  1. It contains poor quality grasses and legumes.
  2. It contains soil types that are low in fertility or nutrients.
  3. It contains wide varieties of grasses and legumes, some of which may not be eaten by livestock.
  4. It has good regenerative ability.
  5. Crops here can withstand trampling.

 

EVALUATION

  1. What are pastures and forage crops?
  2. List five uses of forage crops.

 

Artificial pastures

this is also referred to as established or sown pasture is a piece of land that is where grasses and legumes are cultivated and managed by man to be fed by livestock.

 

CHARACTERISTICS FEATURES OF ARTIFICIAL PASTURES

  • It contains high quality grass and legumes
  • It contains no weed.
  • Selected grasses and legumes are grown in adequate proportion
  • Have high regenerative ability
  • Can withstand trampling by farm animals.

 QUALITY OF A GOOD PASTURE PLANT

  1. Ability to regenerate fast after being browsed
  2. Ability to withstand trampling
  3. It must be highly palatable
  4. It must possess high value of nutrients
  5. Ability to withstand extreme climatic condition
  6. It should have moderate moisture content or succulent
  7. It must have high leaf to stem ratio

EVALUATION

  1. List five characteristics of a natural pasture.
  2. List five characteristics of artificial pasture.

 

COMMON GRASSES AND LEGUMES OF LIVE STOCK

GRASSES

COMMON NAME               BOTANICAL NAME

  1. Elephant grass Pennisetum purpureum
  2. Guinea grass Panicum maximum
  3. Giant star grass Cynodon plectostachyum
  4. Carpet grass Axonopus compressus
  5. Spear grass Imperata cylindrical
  6. Bahama grass Cynodon dactylon
  7. Northern gamba Andropogon gayanus
  8. Southern gamba Andropogon tectorum

 

LEGUMES

COMMON NAME               BOTANICAL NAME

  1. Centro Centrosema pubescens
  2. Stylo Stylosanthes gracilis
  3. Kudzu or puero Pueraria phaseoloides
  4. Calapo Calapogonium mucunoides
  5. Mucuna Muccuna utilis
  6. Sun hemp Crotalaria juncea
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FACTORS AFFECTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF PASTURE

  1. Climatic factors
  2. Soil or edaphic factors
  3. Biotic factors

 

CLIMATIC FACTORS

The type of climate in an area influences the type of vegetation in the particular area e.g sudan type of climate will favour the growth of grass and legume while equatorial climate does not. The elements of climate which affects the distribution of pastures are rainfall, wind, temperature, relative humidity etc.

 

EDAPHIC FACTORS

This refers to the level of fertility of the soil. Fertile soil enhances pasture growth and vice versa. Edaphic factors include soil PH, soil texture, soil structure, soil topography etc.

 

BIOTIC FACTORS

Biotic factors like diseases, pests, parasites, predators generally influence the distribution of pasture. Also human and animal activities such as bush burning and overgrazing will affect the distribution of pastures.

 

EVALUATION

  1. List four grasses and their botanical name
  2. List four legumes with their botanical name

 

FACTOR AFFECTING THE PRODUCTIVITY OF PASTURES

  1. Persistence: ability to survive and spread by vegetative means.
  2. Aggressiveness: ability to compete favourably with other weeds.
  3. Resistance to trampling.
  4. Seed viability or profuseness or ease of propagation.
  5. Resistance to drought.
  6. Absence of pest and diseases.
  7. Good management.
  8. Adequate stocking.

 

 ESTABLISHMENT OF PASTURES

Before pasture can be established, the following factors should be considered

  1. Adaptation of species
  2. Palatability
  3. compatibility
  4. time of maturity: should be short
  5. lifestyle of the species

 STEPS IN ESTABLISHING A PASTURE

  1. Site selection.
  2. Clearing of land.
  3. Removal of debris
  4. Cultivation of site (land preparation).
  5. Planting of pasture crop.
  6. Promotion of tillers (more point of growth).
  7. Fertilizer application.

 

CLASS ACTIVITY

Example 1 page 184 of Essential Agricultural Science by O. A Iwena.

 

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN PASTURE

  1. Burning (when forage becomes fibrous to ensure regrowth of lush forage).
  2. Fencing to discourage overgrazing or facilitate rotational grazing.
  3. Fertilizer application or manuring.
  4. Regular weed control.
  5. Adequate pest and disease control.
  6. Irrigation.
  7. Adequate stocking.

 GENERAL EVALUATION

  1. List three pasture grass and their botanical names.
  2. List three pasture legumes and their botanical names.
  3. List three factors affecting the distribution of pastures.
  4. List five factors affecting the productivity of pastures.
  5. List five management practices in pasture.
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PROJECT

Produce a forage album containing no less than twelve mixtures of grasses and legumes to be submitted before sixth week.

READING ASSIGNMENT

Revision questions 4, 6 and 7 in Essential Agricultural Science for Senior Senior School, chapter 17, page 185.

 WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

SECTION A

  1. Which of the following is not a climatic factor affecting pasture distribution? A. Temperature B. Light C. Humidity D. Soil PH
  2. The following are edaphic factors except A. soil PH B. soil texture C. soil structure
  3. relative humidity
  4. Diseases, pests, predators and parasites are ____ factors. A. biotic B. abiotic C. edaphic
  5. climatic
  6. The act of re-planting pastures that fail to germinate is ______. A. thinning B. supplying C. weeding D. mulching
  7. The following are legumes except _____. A. centro B. stylo C. calapo D. gamba

 SECTION B

  1. What is pasture?
  2. Briefly discuss three factors affecting the productivity of pasture.
  3. Explain what is meant by natural grassland.

B. List five grasses and legumes each with their botanical names

See also

LIVESTOCK PARASITES AND THEIR LIFE CYCLES

ANIMAL PROTOZOAN DISEASES | SYMPTOMS, TRANSMISSION, EFFECTS, PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE CONTROL

ANIMAL FUNGAL DISEASES | SYMPTOMS, TRANSMISSION, EFFECTS, PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE CONTROL

ANIMAL BACTERIAL DISEASES | SYMPTOMS, TRANSMISSION, EFFECTS, PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE CONTROL

CONTROL OF ANIMAL VIRAL DISEASES | SYMPTOMS, TRANSMISSION, EFFECTS, PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE

 

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