Impact of cultivation method on productivity and botanical composition of a kikuyu-ryegrass pasture

Swanepoel, Pieter A
Botha, Philip R
Snyman, Hennie A
du Preez, Chris C
African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Publication Year: 
Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum)–ryegrass (Lolium spp.) cultivated pastures form the base for dairy production in the southern Cape region of South Africa. The impact of various methods and implements used to over-sow ryegrass on the productivity and botanical composition of the pasture is unknown. The study aimed to assess the impact of cultivation along a soil disturbance gradient on the productivity and botanical composition of kikuyu-based pastures. Five tillage treatments were assessed, namely kikuyu over-sown with ryegrass using a minimum till planter, eradication of kikuyu with herbicide and ryegrass sown with a minimum-till planter, shallow (<150 mm) and deep (>150 mm) disturbance with a rotavator or conventional tillage, respectively, and a control. The autumn, spring, summer and annual productions of treatments with the least soil disturbance were the highest (P ? 0.05). Shallow or deep tillage resulted in intermediate annual productions and the lowest (P ? 0.05) was recorded for the herbicide treatment. Differences in production caused by different tillage methods were significant (P ? 0.05) and changed the botanical composition. Kikuyu over-sown with ryegrass using a mulcher and minimum-till planter was the most viable option to manage cultivated pastures.
Name of Journal: 
African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.