Original Articles

Towards optimum grazing management for sheep production on crownvetch (Coronilla varia L.)

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1992.9648304
Author(s): D.L. BarnesDepartment of Agricultural Development (Transvaal Region), Republic of South Africa, C.P. DempseyDepartment of Agricultural Development (Transvaal Region), Republic of South Africa


The performance of wether lambs on crownvetch (Coronilla varia L.) pasture was determined for three seasons under five grazing procedures. These included continuous grazing and rotational grazing with a 7‐day period‐of stay and periods‐of‐absence of 7, 21, 35 or 49 days. Performance was the same with all five systems. Supplementary measurements involving oesophageal‐fistula samples and quadrat harvests indicated that the quality and amount of grazable herbage in the different systems were similar. Weeds increased noticeably in the third season and were more prevalent with continuous and near‐continuous grazing. The grazing capacity for a five‐month grazing season was estimated at 3.0–3.5 LSU (about 30–35 weaner lambs) ha−1. Under local conditions, livemass gains in the order of 20 kg lamb−1 in a period of 130–160 days can be achieved.

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