Original Articles

The value of subtropical grass pastures for use as foggage on the eastern Transvaal Highveld

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1991.9648254
Author(s): N.F.G. Rethman, Republic of South Africa, C.C. de Witt, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

The utilization of frosted herbage of Pennisetwn clandestinwn, Paspalum notation, Digitaria eriantha, Cynodon sp. and Chloris gayana by Merino wethers during the winter confirmed the potential of this practice as an alternative winter feeding strategy under Highveld conditions. P. clandestinwn and P. notatum provided good quality foggage with average daily gains of 60–80 g sheep−1 being recorded. D. eriantha also provided good quality foggage when stem production was minimized. C. gayana gave good livestock performance, but did not persist under Highveld conditions. Although Cynodon sp. proved to be a relatively poor foggage species, it provided for the maintenance of livemass. Longer rest periods in the growing season increased the available pasture, grazing capacity and livestock production ha−1, but increased the probability of poorer livestock performance. This is probably linked with a lower protein content and a higher proportion of stem material in herbage rested for a longer period.

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