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RANGELAND

Rangeland is a piece of land, usually large, on which the local or native vegetation mainly grass or shrubs grow. Range is an extensive area of land which contains forage grasses and legumes and other herbage plants where animals like sheep, goats, and cattle can graze.

Characteristics of rangeland.

  1. It contains high-quality grasses and legumes.
  2. It has a high regenerative ability after being fed on by animals
  3. Selected grasses and legumes are grown in adequate proportion.
  4. It can withstand trampling by farm animals.
  5. It is properly managed for high production of the forage crops
  6. It contains no weed except some plants for shade.
  7. Burning actively stimulates growth
  8. It contains plant shades and dew needs
  9. Vegetation is usually uncultivated

SUB-TOPIC 2

Methods of rangeland /pasture improvement.

Reseeding: This is the planting of grasses and legumes in a depleted rangeland. It is a way of improving the quality of pasture with improved seeds of legumes and grasses.

Controlled stocking: The number of animals in the range should be controlled.Rangeland should be stocked to its maximum capacity. Over-stocking leads to rapid spread of pests, diseases, and parasite infestation in flocks; degradation of soil leading to soil erosion. Under-stocking will reduce the optimal use of rangeland

Paddocking: Rangeland is divided into units called paddocks. Animals are then grazed on each paddock by rotation to prevent selective grazing of grasses and legumes. It prevents the build-up of pests and diseases.

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Avoidance of overgrazing/under grazing

Fertilizer application: Appropriate fertilizers should be applied to improve the productivity of rangeland. Application can be done by pre-planting or during planting when reseeding is done.

Legumes and grass mixture.

Pest control: Pests can be controlled chemically by using chemicals or biologically.

Controlled burning: Although it has the effect of bringing about regrowth. In grasses, it can totally destroy forage that cannot withstand burning especially legumes. Burning causes stunted growth of trees that could otherwise provide shade or forage.

Fencing: It keeps off rodents,hunter/poachers thus preventing them from setting rangelands on fire.

Weed control: It is important to remove unwanted or obnoxious weeds. Some weeds are poisonous or are capable of causing physiological disorders in grazing animals, such weeds should be removed. Weeds can be controlled manually or by use of chemicals.

Irrigation

Importance of rangeland.

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