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A case study of beef-cattle grazing in a Mediterranean-type woodland
Year:
2000
Source of publication :
Agroforestry Systems
Authors :
Gutman, Mario
;
.
Henkin, Zalmen
;
.
Holzer, Zvi
;
.
Volume :
48
Co-Authors:
Gutman, M., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Henkin, Z., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), Qiryat Shemonah, Israel
Holzer, Z., Agricultural Research Organization, Department of Beef Cattle, Neveh Ya'ar, Israel
Noy-Meir, I., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot, Israel
Seligman, N.G., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), Qiryat Shemonah, Israel
Facilitators :
From page:
119
To page:
140
(
Total pages:
22
)
Abstract:
A grazing trial was conducted over 10 years to determine the feasibility of using beef cattle to graze a Mediterranean oak scrub forest that for millennia had been grazed by mixed herds of domestic ruminants dominated by goats. After initial thinning of the woody vegetation, two large paddocks were stocked with cross-bred beef cows, one at a relatively heavy stocking rate (0.67 cows ha-1) and the other at a lighter rate (0.48 cows ha-1). During the summer and autumn, the herds were given free access to supplementary feed composed mainly of poultry litter. Despite the higher grazing pressure, mean weaning weight per cow in the heavily grazed paddock was similar to that in the moderately grazed paddock and required a similar investment of supplementary feed per kg of weaned liveweight. Consequently, weaned calf weight production per unit area was higher under the heavier grazing regimen. A shift in calving season from autumn to spring improved herd performance. In comparison with beef cattle husbandry on herbaceous range in the region, animal performance with autumn calving was inferior even though supplementation levels were similar; with spring calving, animal performance was similar on both range types, but much less supplementation was required on the herbaceous range. An open park-like landscape was maintained especially under heavy grazing where, after the initial thinning, the regrowth from the bases of the oak trees was browsed down to ~0.5 m. Herbaceous cover increased steadily over the years under both heavy and moderate stocking rates, but more so in the heavily grazed paddock. Whereas a large degree of control of the woody scrub was attained by heavy cattle grazing, maintaining performance of moderately heavy cross-bred cows involved relatively intensive supplementary feeding. In addition, for sustained management of such systems, recurrent technological intervention was necessary to prevent excessive encroachment of the dwarf-shrub vegetation. However, it is evident that with further improvement in herd management, especially by development of hardier, better adapted animals, it is possible to improve feasibility of beef cattle husbandry under such Mediterranean woodland conditions.
Note:
Related Files :
cattle
Garrigue
Grazing
livestock farming
Mediterranean woodland
Shrub encroachment
Type conversion
woodland
Show More
Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1023/A:1006366505905
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
20896
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
16/04/2018 23:39
Scientific Publication
A case study of beef-cattle grazing in a Mediterranean-type woodland
48
Gutman, M., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Henkin, Z., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), Qiryat Shemonah, Israel
Holzer, Z., Agricultural Research Organization, Department of Beef Cattle, Neveh Ya'ar, Israel
Noy-Meir, I., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot, Israel
Seligman, N.G., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), Qiryat Shemonah, Israel
A case study of beef-cattle grazing in a Mediterranean-type woodland
A grazing trial was conducted over 10 years to determine the feasibility of using beef cattle to graze a Mediterranean oak scrub forest that for millennia had been grazed by mixed herds of domestic ruminants dominated by goats. After initial thinning of the woody vegetation, two large paddocks were stocked with cross-bred beef cows, one at a relatively heavy stocking rate (0.67 cows ha-1) and the other at a lighter rate (0.48 cows ha-1). During the summer and autumn, the herds were given free access to supplementary feed composed mainly of poultry litter. Despite the higher grazing pressure, mean weaning weight per cow in the heavily grazed paddock was similar to that in the moderately grazed paddock and required a similar investment of supplementary feed per kg of weaned liveweight. Consequently, weaned calf weight production per unit area was higher under the heavier grazing regimen. A shift in calving season from autumn to spring improved herd performance. In comparison with beef cattle husbandry on herbaceous range in the region, animal performance with autumn calving was inferior even though supplementation levels were similar; with spring calving, animal performance was similar on both range types, but much less supplementation was required on the herbaceous range. An open park-like landscape was maintained especially under heavy grazing where, after the initial thinning, the regrowth from the bases of the oak trees was browsed down to ~0.5 m. Herbaceous cover increased steadily over the years under both heavy and moderate stocking rates, but more so in the heavily grazed paddock. Whereas a large degree of control of the woody scrub was attained by heavy cattle grazing, maintaining performance of moderately heavy cross-bred cows involved relatively intensive supplementary feeding. In addition, for sustained management of such systems, recurrent technological intervention was necessary to prevent excessive encroachment of the dwarf-shrub vegetation. However, it is evident that with further improvement in herd management, especially by development of hardier, better adapted animals, it is possible to improve feasibility of beef cattle husbandry under such Mediterranean woodland conditions.
Scientific Publication
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