Saturday, May 18, 2024
General Agriculture

Pastures Associated with Field and Tree Crops

Pastures species are incorporated into other crops for optimum benefits ranging from environmental protection to other economic benefits. Both native and improved pasture species can be used for this purpose.

The major advantage of this system is an increase in grain and forage yield of the crops (e.g. maize crop), which could translate into an improved economic gain for farmers.

However, in some situations, drastic drops in grain yield may results, especially when the crop and pasture species are planted on the same land, and on the same day.

Pastures Associated with Field Crops

Pastures are integrated into field crops such as cereal crops (e.g. maize, millet, sorghum, etc).

This has been an old practice in the farming system. For example, farmers have been incorporating groundnut into millet or sorghum fields for fear of complete crop failure due to drought and expectation of higher grain yield of the cereal crop.

The pasture species provide extra nitrogen to the cereal crop through biological processes. This further helps to maintain soil health.

Read Also: Definition and Management of Improved Pastures

Pastures Associated with Tree Crops

Improved grasses and legume pasture species can be planted in plantations of coconut, oil palm, rubber, and fruit trees. This will assist in replacing weeds and native pasture species common in such areas.

The pasture species can be used indirectly for the ‘cut and carry system’ of livestock feeding or directly for grazing. The following are the advantages of this system;

There are higher returns from combined land use;

Increased nut recovery in coconut plantation;

Reduction in weed population;

Increase in income and financial base of farmers.

However, there is a problem of competition for nutrients by both the pasture species and the tree crops. Therefore, additional fertilizers are needed to supply the required nutrients. Also, a reduction in light penetration due to canopy cover may affect the pasture species grown underneath.

Read Also: Recommended Pastures for your Livestock Grazing

Ley Pastures

Pasture species are sometimes planted together with field crops. Browse plants such as Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium, Gmelina aborea, etc are commonly used for this purpose.

The main difference between ley pastures and pastures associated with crops is that in ley pastures browse plants are mainly used as pasture species rather than other grass and legume species.

These types of pastures are mainly established for temporary use and they have the following advantages:

They help to improve soil fertility;

They help farmers to control weeds, disease pathogens, and pests;

They provide fencing materials to farmers;

They help to increase the yield of cereal crops;

They help to combat climate change.

In summary, pastures can be planted together with cereal, browse and tree crops. These pastures are established based on different purposes such as disease control

Ley pastures have other advantages such as mitigation of the effects of climate change on the environment.

Read Also: Definition and Management of Improved Pastures

In summary, pastures associated with field and tree crops are areas where grass and other plants are grown alongside or within fields or orchards where crops like corn, wheat, or fruit trees are cultivated. These pastures play an important role in supporting the overall health of the farming system and the animals within it.

Think of these pastures as friendly neighbors to the main crops. Just like how friends support each other, these pastures help the crops and the farm animals in various ways.

1. Field Crop Pastures: These are like helpful sidekicks for the main crops. Field crop pastures are planted within or around fields where crops like corn, wheat, or soybeans are grown.

They provide additional vegetation for grazing animals and help control weeds, which can compete with the main crops for nutrients and sunlight.

By keeping the weeds in check, these pastures make sure the main crops have all the resources they need to grow strong and healthy.

2. Tree Crop Pastures: These are like caretakers for the orchards. Tree crop pastures are areas where grass and other plants grow amidst fruit or nut trees.

These pastures help improve soil quality, prevent erosion, and provide a habitat for beneficial insects that help control pests, contributing to the overall health of the orchard.

Additionally, they offer grazing opportunities for animals, allowing farmers to make the most of their land by integrating both tree crops and grazing animals in the same area.

These pastures associated with field and tree crops create a balanced and harmonious environment where both crops and animals can thrive together.

They contribute to the sustainability of the farming system by promoting biodiversity, improving soil health, and ensuring efficient land use, all while providing nutritious food for the animals and supporting the growth of healthy, high-quality crops.

Read Also: 7 Environmental Effects of Waste Disposal


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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