RANGE LAND MANAGEMENT

RANGE LAND MANAGEMENT

A rangeland is an extensive area of land which contains storage grasses and legumes and other herbage plants where animals like cattle sheep and goat can graze.

Importance of Range land

  1. The animals have access to varieties of forage, thus eating balanced feed.
  2. Rangeland provides food for live stocks especially ruminants.
  3. It allows animals to exercise their body
  4. Dead plant materials from rangeland build up the fertility of the soil.
  5. Rangeland reduces the cost of feeding animals especially ruminants.

Characteristics of range land

  1. It contains high quality grasses and legume
  2. It contain no weed expect some plants for shade s
  3. It can withstand trampling by farm animals
  4. It has a high regenerative ability after being feed on by animals
  5. Selected grasses and legumes are grown in adequate proportion.

Common grasses and legumes of livestock in range land

  1. Grasses
S/N Common names Botanical name
1. Elephant grass Pennisetum purpureum
2 Guinea grass Panicu maximum
3 Carpet grass Axonopus compressus
4 Spear grass Imperata cylindrical
5 Batroma grass Cynodon dastylon

 

  1. Legumes
S/N Common names Botanical name
1. Stylo Stylossanthes gracilis
2 Mucuna Mucuna utilis
3 Centro Centrosema Pubescens

 

Factors affecting the level of production of herbage

  1. Fertility of the soil => The soil on which herbage plants grow must be fertile so that their production can be enhanced
  2. Grazing => The range should be carefully planned to ensure adequate grazing by animals. Rotational grazing should be adopted.
  3. Rainfall => Rain is needed for the continuous growth of grasses and legumes
  4. Grass and legumes mixture => Pasture or rangeland should include a mixture of grasses and legumes because legumes help to increase the fertility of the soil for rapid growth of the grasses.
  5. Avoidance of overstocking => The correct number of animals should be allowed to graze a specified area of pasture.

Methods of Rangeland and Pasture Improvement

Some of the management principles that would lead to the improvement of rangeland and pasture include:

  1. Controlled stocking => This refers to the situation whereby the correct number of animals are allowed to graze a particular area of land.
  2. Reseeding => this involves replanting of seeds of forage crops on a depleting rangeland.
  3. Legume and grass mixture => in natural grassland without legumes, the farmer may improve it by introducing legume seeds into the rangeland.
  4. Paddocking => This involves dividing the range land into a number of plots or sections with fences.
  5. Avoidance of overgrazing => overgrazing involves constant grazing and cutting of forage crops such that the crops start to die and the land becomes bare
  6. Use of fertilizer
  7. Pest control
  8. Controlled burning
  9. Irrigation
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