Original Articles

Patterns of defoliation in four‐ and eight‐paddock grazing systems

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1990.9648201
Author(s): D.M. GammonDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply, Republic of South Africa, D.R. TwiddyDepartment of Agriculture and Water Supply, Republic of South Africa


Patterns of defoliation of the dominant palatable species in a recommended eight‐paddock system and a four‐paddock system with the same grazing cycle were monitored by repeated observations of marked tillers. In the two systems, the percentages of palatable species grazed in each period of stay, the numbers of defoliations per tiller during the season, the uninterrupted growth intervals and the heights of defoliation were all similar. In the four‐camp system less than 10% of the tillers were re‐grazed within periods of stay. In successive periods the potential seven‐day reduction in interval between defoliations affected 44% of the tillers but in 85% of these this reduction occurred only once in the season. Similarities in defoliation patterns suggest that there may be little difference in the effects of the two systems. A need for long‐term experiments to establish the extent of differences between such systems is indicated.

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