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Henkin, Z., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Gutman, M., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Aharon, H., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel
Perevolotsky, A., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Seligman, N.G., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel
Traditionally, the evergreen Mediterranean woodland dominated by dense Kermes oak thickets has been grazed mainly by multi-species herds dominated by goats. With the continuing decline of goat husbandry, commercial beef husbandry in such woodland was considered as a possible alternative. A case study to determine the feasibility of this option was conducted over a period of 20 years on oak woodland in the Galilee region in Israel. The woodland was initially thinned manually to enable better access for cattle. For the first 11 years (1982-1992), the study site was grazed by a beef herd managed by a nearby communal settlement (Hatal1); it was consequently subject to the advantages and limitations of integration into a larger beef ranching operation and a complex socio-economic organization. During the following 10 years, the range was grazed by a beef herd belonging to a family in a nearby village (Hatal2) and subject to the accompanying limited manpower and economic constraints of a family farm. During both periods, one paddock was grazed at a heavier stocking rate than the other. Under heavy grazing (175-206 cow grazing days ha-1 yr -1), the basal regrowth of the oaks was closely cropped and the vegetation was maintained as predominantly open woodland. In the paddock that was grazed more moderately (122-148 cow grazing days ha-1 yr -1), the vegetation tended to return to dense thicket. It was concluded that after initial thinning, the relatively dense Mediterranean oak woodland sustained a viable beef herd with moderate supplementation, especially when grazing pressure was maintained at a relatively high level. In addition, the open woodland contributed to landscape diversity and increased the amenity value of the area for hiking and recreation. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Suitability of Mediterranean oak woodland for beef herd husbandry
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Henkin, Z., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Gutman, M., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Aharon, H., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel
Perevolotsky, A., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
Seligman, N.G., Galilee Technological Center (MIGAL), P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemonah 11016, Israel
Suitability of Mediterranean oak woodland for beef herd husbandry
Traditionally, the evergreen Mediterranean woodland dominated by dense Kermes oak thickets has been grazed mainly by multi-species herds dominated by goats. With the continuing decline of goat husbandry, commercial beef husbandry in such woodland was considered as a possible alternative. A case study to determine the feasibility of this option was conducted over a period of 20 years on oak woodland in the Galilee region in Israel. The woodland was initially thinned manually to enable better access for cattle. For the first 11 years (1982-1992), the study site was grazed by a beef herd managed by a nearby communal settlement (Hatal1); it was consequently subject to the advantages and limitations of integration into a larger beef ranching operation and a complex socio-economic organization. During the following 10 years, the range was grazed by a beef herd belonging to a family in a nearby village (Hatal2) and subject to the accompanying limited manpower and economic constraints of a family farm. During both periods, one paddock was grazed at a heavier stocking rate than the other. Under heavy grazing (175-206 cow grazing days ha-1 yr -1), the basal regrowth of the oaks was closely cropped and the vegetation was maintained as predominantly open woodland. In the paddock that was grazed more moderately (122-148 cow grazing days ha-1 yr -1), the vegetation tended to return to dense thicket. It was concluded that after initial thinning, the relatively dense Mediterranean oak woodland sustained a viable beef herd with moderate supplementation, especially when grazing pressure was maintained at a relatively high level. In addition, the open woodland contributed to landscape diversity and increased the amenity value of the area for hiking and recreation. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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