Track 1-07

Description

Western China is mostly covered with natural grasslands, particularly in mountainous and alpine areas. Here agriculture and grazing pastures with livestock are widely integrated. Overgrazing and forage shortages are prominent problems for animal production. Cold weather and long drought periods can also lead to serious feed shortages, especially of high quality protein forages (Liu et al. 2010). Planting perennial forages with high nutritive value is an important way of increasing forage supply and relieving grassland degradation. Medicago varia L. cv. Gannong No.1 (Medicago) and Onobrychis viciaefolia Scop. cv. Gansu (sainfoin) are examples of perennial legumes with high nutritive value that are grown in semi-arid environments in western China (Cao et al. 1991; Chen 1992). These 2 legumes were planted in a site typical of the mixed agricultural and pastoral zone of western China and measurements were made of over-wintering rate, plant height, grass yield and nutrient content to identify their potential to relieve grassland degradation.

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Performance of Medicago varia cv. Gannong No.1 and Onobrychis viciaefolia cv. Gansu in the Mixed Agricultural and Pastoral Zone of Western China

Western China is mostly covered with natural grasslands, particularly in mountainous and alpine areas. Here agriculture and grazing pastures with livestock are widely integrated. Overgrazing and forage shortages are prominent problems for animal production. Cold weather and long drought periods can also lead to serious feed shortages, especially of high quality protein forages (Liu et al. 2010). Planting perennial forages with high nutritive value is an important way of increasing forage supply and relieving grassland degradation. Medicago varia L. cv. Gannong No.1 (Medicago) and Onobrychis viciaefolia Scop. cv. Gansu (sainfoin) are examples of perennial legumes with high nutritive value that are grown in semi-arid environments in western China (Cao et al. 1991; Chen 1992). These 2 legumes were planted in a site typical of the mixed agricultural and pastoral zone of western China and measurements were made of over-wintering rate, plant height, grass yield and nutrient content to identify their potential to relieve grassland degradation.