Original Articles

A re‐evaluation of veld reinforcement in natal

DOI: 10.1080/00725560.1983.9648985
Author(s): P.J. EdwardsDepartment of Agriculture (Natal Region),

Abstract

A number of sites of veld in Natal which have been reinforced by sod‐seeding with legumes or by fertilization and oversowing with grass during the last 20 years have been examined. It is concluded that veld reinforcement in this area can lead to more than a two‐fold increase in beef production per ha as long as the introduced species are maintained. Nearly all the sod‐seeding was done with the legumes Trifolium repens and T. pratense both of which, except for one very moist site, failed to persist for more than 2 to 3 years. Replanting of these legumes was accompanied by an increase in unpalatable pioneer grasses at the expense of better veld. Lespedeza cuneata, because of its persistence even under poor management, might be a useful legume for this purpose. Grasses oversown on fertilized veld have established well and persisted as long as fertilizer applications are maintained. In most instances complete replacement of veld is preferred to reinforcement.

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