Permanent pastures are pastures that are established for many years (several decades) so as to provide feed for livestock. These pastures could be native or sown depending on choice.
They are established in farms with large numbers of livestock to avoid depletion of feed during periods of scarcity. They serve as the main source of feed for grazing by livestock that is intensively managed.
Permanent pastures refer to areas of land that are dedicated to the cultivation of perennial grasses, legumes, and other forage plants, specifically intended for grazing animals, without the need for regular replanting. These pastures are like long-term homes for the animals, providing a stable and reliable source of food year after year.
In simpler terms, permanent pastures are like a special playground for the animals that never goes away. They are areas where the grass and plants are always there, ready for the animals to eat whenever they need to.
Farmers create permanent pastures to ensure that their animals have access to consistent and nutritious food throughout the seasons. These pastures are carefully managed, with a variety of grasses and plants that can withstand different weather conditions and provide a balanced diet for the grazing animals.
Moreover, these pastures are not just about food for the animals. They also help the soil stay healthy and prevent erosion. Just like how a good home keeps you safe and comfortable, permanent pastures keep the land safe and healthy for the animals and the environment.
By using permanent pastures, farmers can efficiently manage their land, allowing it to be used for grazing animals without the need for constant reseeding. This not only saves time and effort but also supports the sustainable use of the land.
Read Also: Definition and Management of Native Pastures
Permanent pastures are mainly established for the purpose of feeding livestock. They can be native or sown pastures. These pastures last for several decades. They consist of annual and perennial species that have underground storage organs (rhizomes and stolons).
These structures help the pasture species to survive the dry season and other harsh conditions such as fire incidence, intense defoliation, and overgrazing. When pasture specie is not producing viable seeds annually, such species can be used in permanent pastures.
These pastures are however very difficult to be eradicated. They are planted on fertile soils. These types of pastures are usually common in highly profitable livestock enterprises such as dairy and beef enterprises.
Characteristics and Establishment of Permanent Pastures
Permanent pastures are characterized by species that contain underground rhizomes and stolons. These are storage organs that assist these pastures to survive harsh conditions.
There is no need of reseeding these pastures once they are well established. They could be single or mixed species pastures. They are established on fertile soils that are not waterlogged and rocky.
The site should be well prepared following recommended agronomic procedures. Once established, these pastures are difficult to be eradicated.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Establishing Permanent Pastures
Establishing permanent pastures has the following advantages:
These pastures help to retain the structure of soils due to the underground organs;
They provide large quantities of forage to livestock;
They resist natural and human hazards such as fire outbreaks and drought;
They can easily cover a large area of land through rapid seed production;
Farmers can get extra income from sales of harvested forage.
However, the following disadvantages affect the establishment of these pastures:
They are very expensive to establish and maintained;
Livestock may be forced to feed on only one pasture species without choice;
They can serve as potential hosts of some disease vectors such as snails etc.
In summary, permanent pastures are pastures established for decades. These pastures have some underground organs that help them to survive harsh conditions These pastures provide farmers with extra income from sales of harvested forage.
Permanent pastures are like a never-ending buffet for the animals, carefully designed to provide them with a consistent, diverse, and nutritious diet, while also contributing to the overall health and sustainability of the farm environment.
Read Also: The Wonderful Benefits of Waste Recycling