Original Articles

Performance of Medicago sativa under dryland conditions on the eastern Highveld

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1986.9648049
Author(s): N F G RethmanDepartment of Plant Production,, J J OdendaalDepartment of Agriculture & Water Supply, Transvaal Region,, C C De WittDepartment of Agriculture & Water Supply, Transvaal Region,


Increased livestock numbers and improved animal performance based on dryland lucerne pastures requiring little or no nitrogenous fertilizer have been demonstrated to be feasible on the eastern Highveld. With large scale planting of lucerne‐based pasture (25% of arable land) 350 to 500% more sheep products can be delivered at a lower cost. When lucerne is included in crop rotations the production cost of grain can also be reduced. The increased usage of lucerne‐based pastures, especially for sheep and dairy enterprises, will also reduce the pressure on natural pasture and improve the conservation of vegetation, soil and water resources.

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