Original Articles

Exploratory trials on reinforcement of veld with legumes in the south‐eastern transvaal highveld

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1986.9648042
Author(s): D L BarnesDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply (Transvaal Region),, N F G RethmanDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply (Transvaal Region),, C C De WittDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply (Transvaal Region),, G D KotzeDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply (Transvaal Region),

Abstract

The feasibility and potential of reinforcing veld with legumes in the south‐eastern Transvaal highveld was assessed in a number of trials during the period 1974–84. Experience was gained with regard to methods of establishment, adaptation of legumes to the local environment, responses to fertilization, especially with lime and superphosphate, and the reaction of legumes to fire and grazing. In all, 17 legumes were involved, including the genera Coronilla, Desmodium, Glycine, Lespedeza, Lotus, Macroptilium, Medicago, Neoto‐nonia, Trifolium and Vigna. Only Coronilla varia (crownvetch) showed a satisfactory degree of persistence. However, crownvetch is slow to establish, is intolerant of waterlogging and has a relatively high requirement for lime and phosphate. Considering these features, and the probability of undesirable changes in grass species composition in reinforced veld, it is recommended that intensification be achieved through development of improved pastures for use in conjunction with veld, rather than by means of veld reinforcement.

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