Original Articles

An evaluation of the empirical basis for grazing management recommendations for rangeland in southern Africa

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1992.9648297
Author(s): P.J. O'ReagainDepartment of Agricultural Development (Eastern Cape Region), Republic of South Africa, J.R. TurnerDepartment of Grassland Science, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

Analysis of over 50 grazing experiments conducted in southern Africa does not support certain management recommendations. Furthermore, the conclusions of some experiments are questionable owing to poor experimental design or confirmation bias. Based on available evidence, it was concluded that (i) stocking rate has a major impact on range condition and animal production, (ii) continuous and rotational grazing or pauci‐ and multi‐camp systems differ little in terms of their effects upon range condition or animal production, (iii) sheep have a greater potential for range degradation than either cattle or goats, but this effect may be ameliorated and sheep production increased by stocking sheep with cattle at narrow ratios, (iv) separation of veld types appears important, and (v) regular seeding or vigour rests, or rests to accumulate fodder, appear essential. Simple grazing systems using adaptive and opportunistic management are recommended.

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