Maintaining saline grasslands in good condition, preserving their yield and diversity is important not only for the purpose of nature conservation, but also for farming. Therefore, the primary purpose of our study is to analyse the effect of pasture use of the smaller weight extensive and the larger weight intensive beef cattle on the grassland vegetation and nutrient content. In this way, we can answer the question whether grazing for nature conservation can be achieved with more profitable, more economical and more intense varieties.
The tests were carried out in May 2016 and May 2017, in the Hortobágy National Park (Pap-ere and Zám puszta), where a total of 16 sample areas were analysed. These areas are grazed with extensive beef cattle (Hungarian grey) and mixed genotype of intensive cattle. The associations were selected along a moisture gradient, such as wet salt marsh (Bolboschoenetum maritimi) and drier saline meadow (Beckmannion eruciformis). All the vegetative material collected both years in May was analysed for the following parameters: dry matter, crude protein, crude fibre and life-sustaining net energy content. We compared the effects of medium grazing (0.46 livestock/ha) and abandonment on vegetation and nutrient content.
We examined the effect of (i) grazing, (ii) different grasslands (salt marsh, saline meadow) and (iii) grazing of different cattle breeds (Hungarian grey, intensive beef) on the nutrient content of the vegetation of grasslands Based on our results, it was found that grazing had an impact on crude protein and life-sustaining net energy content. The highest crude protein content (12.75 m/m%) was obtained in the year 2017 in the area where higher density had been grazed for two years. For the lifesustaining net energy, the highest value (5.05 MJ/kg d.m.) was also obtained in 2017 and the lowest in 2016. Furthermore, it was found that there was no significant difference between the effect of the two cattle breeds on the parameters examined. Significant effects were observed only in the case of life-sustaining net energy: in the area of intensive beef cattle we received a higher value (5.15 MJ/kg body weight) than in the area with extensive beef cattle (4.96 MJ/kg body weight).
Our results have also shown that cattle grazing is of the utmost importance for the maintenance of both wet and mesophilous habitats. Based on our three-year study, we can say that grazing by both extensive and intensive cattle breeds is suitable for the management of saline habitats.
Coenological surveys were conducted in the Hortobágy National Park (Pap-ere and Zám-puszta) in May 2015 and 2016. During the tests,a total of 40 permanent plots were analyzed on grasslands grazed by extensive cattle (Hungarian Grey) and mixed genotype intensive cattle. The presence of plant species, percentages of total coverage of species and vegetation cover were recorded. Two habitat types were chosen according to their moisture content: wet salt marsh meadow (Bolboschoenetum maritimi) and drier salt meadows (Beckmannion eruciformis).
We compared the impact of increased number of animals (2016 years) and the low number of animals (2015 years, initial state) and the grazing exclusion on vegetations.
We tested: (i) what is the impact of grazing on the vegetation, (ii) how do species composition and vegetation charachteristics differ in the two habitat types (iii) and is there a difference in the impact of different cattle breeds (Hungarian gray, intensive beef cattle) grazing on the grasslands species composition? During the investigation we found, (i) that the greatest number of species was recorded in 2015, on the area that received moderate to intensive grazing (14.3 species per m2). Somewhat the number of species was reduced in 2016 due to more intensive grazing. The control group had the lowest number of species (11.7 species per m2). The undergrass and legumes cover significantly increased on intensive grazed lands. (ii) Our results indicate that the effects of different grazing differ in the two studied habitat types. On the drier grasslands greater number of species were found (16.2 species per m2), oppositely to the wet grassland (11.2 species per m2). The cover of the undergrasses was higher in the drier habitat than in the wet. (iii) The extensive beef cattle left a bigger number of species (16 species per m2) than the intensive beef cattle (11.4 species per m2). The grass cover was more intense on areas grazed by intensive cattle. The absolute and potential weeds cover showed a higher value on areas grazed by Hungarian Grey. Our two-year results suggest that grazing by both extensive and intensive cattle breeds can be a proper tool for the conservation management of alkali grasslands.
Research was carried out on two areas of grassland in Hortobágy National Park, Hungary. Two herds of Hungarian Grey Cattle were kept in free range grazing and the effects of grazing pressure on the magnesium content of soil and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L) were determined.
Changes of plant available and total soil magnesium content under different grazing intensities did not show any evident tendency on the investigated grasslands. Different amounts of cattle faeces, urine and trampling had no effect on the magnesium concentration of ryegrass. We conclude that the magnesium content of ryegrass on both grassland sites as moderate grazing and overgrazing matches the requirements of cattle. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency of cattle will likely not appear.
There is a mutual dependence between nature conservation activity and agriculture in Hungary, as the management of the protected areas cannot be achieved without ecological farming methods. Moreover, viable economic activity can be only imagined through the harmonization of agricultural and nature conservation interests. From a nature conservation point of view, grass management systems play the greatest role in domestic agricultural systems. Yet, due to the prohibition of certain management methods and the spatial and temporal restraints on grazing, nature conservation activities have priority on protected grasslands. While nature conservation activity is still of prominent importance, it is not equally suitable for the economical management of protected grasslands per se. With our examinations, we would like to emphasize the common interests of these mutually dependent activities and to promote bilateral cooperation. Our aim is to model the production of grass on the great pastureland of Hajdúbagos. Potential grass production levels are easily calculable with a computer model based on data collected through a series of test harvests, as well as by factoring in changing climatic factors and by simulating the effects of grazing animal species and stocks. This model is not only useful for determining the optimal number of the grazing animal stock and grazing method, and therefore the most suitable management strategy, but it also supports local farmers to be able to plan their activities. In this way, both nature conservation and economic aims can be easily harmonized, which would be an important factor for the sustainable development of rural areas.
Our botanical survey at the great pasture of Hajdúbagos is a part of a broad research that aims to predict the production of the grass at the given area. As the mentioned pasture is a nature conservation area, the usage of artificial fertilizers or other classic grassland management methods in its handling are prohibited. Thus grazing is an important tool for the management of this area, however the not suitably regulated grazing order and the poorly calculated carrying capacity cause serious problems at some parts of the pasture. The prediction of the grass yield is essential to
avoid both over- and both under-grazing and for determining the optimal number of the grazing animal stock and the grazing method, thus the most suitable management strategy.
The potential grass yield is easily calculable with a computer model that will be established as a basis for determining the grass production. For the sake of getting an accurate view of the plant associations of the pasture, we created examination quadrates and determined all plant species found in the quadrates. After plant determination, we compiled a coenological table in which we marked besides the scientific name and families, the life forms of each species that refer to the structure, morphology and thus the adaptability of plants to their environment. We determined the
TWR, so the thermoclimate, water and soil reaction values, the nature conservation values, as well as the covering values of each plant species (DB), and the total coverage of the examination quadrates (B%).
According to the covering values, grasses proved to be characteristic plants at the examined pasture, thus we need to consider them influential in calculating the animal carrying capacity and with the rest of the information, we need to supply the model.
The life forms and TWR indicators, all together with the nature conservation values provide further important data to the development of the management suggestion of the protected pasture. By examining these values to different parts of the area, we could get an exact view on the measure of the degradation effects. This promotes the determination of grazing methods and the forming of the boundaries of certain pasture sections, to avoid those harmful anthropogenic effects that seriously endanger this extensive sandy pasture.
Intensive indoor pig ptductiv technologies have entirely prevailed over the outdoor keeping of pigs. In Western Europe, sowgreasing is managed on a farm-size scale.
In our experiment sows were grased during two grazing seasons, from April 28 to July 07, 2000, and from 14 September to December 10, 2000. The same number of indoor sows served as control animals.
The results of the blood test show that, as a result of grazing, the beta carotene level of the blood serum has increased threefold.
On spring pasture, the grasingsows gained 50 kg in weight as opposed to 30 kg in control animals. On the poor autumn pasture, the weight gained was only 30 kg, which was only 2 kg more in comparison with the performance of the control group.
In both groups, loss in weight following the farrowing interval between the two grazing cycles was almost the same, that is, 47 kg. Thus, sows in the grased group were not worn at the end of the suckling period.
The number of stillborn piglets in the grased groups of sows was three times smaller, and the piglets were 100 g heavier. Following the second grazing cycle, the litter of the experimental sows grew by 10%, there were fewer stillborn pigs, however, the average weight of the farrow was 140 g less.
In our experiment sows were grased during four grazing seasons, from April 28, 2000 to 23, August, 2001. The same number of indoor sows served as control animals.
The results of the blood test show that, as a result of grazing, the beta carotene level of the blood serum has increased threefold. This difference disappeard after the farrow 30 days.
On spring pasture, the grasingsows gained 50 kg in weight as opposed to 30 kg in the control animals. On the poor autumn pasture, the weight gained was only 30 kg, which was only 2 kg more in comparison with the performance of the control group. In the third grasing season the experiment sows weight gained was 13.7 kg and control group 37 kg. In the fourth season the control group weight gained was 4.4 kg more in comparison with the performance of the experiment sows.
Grazing not very influence weight of gthe sows during the preast – feeding.
Ethology, the research field of animal behaviour, during the past half century developed into an independent science and became more important in recent years as the farming industry has turned toward quality production. Farm animals respond for every environmental factor. Essential to know the answers to avoid unpleasant economic consequences. Based on the shepherds’ experience, this science has merged with modern technology, constantly expanding and searching new methods. According to the literature the article summarizes the observation methods in cattle grazing. This paper introduces the beginnings and shows the future trends. Finally we share personal experiences as the Hungarian Grey cattle grazing behaviour at conditions of Hortobágy, Hungary.
We analysed the effect of the sheep grazing, the grass cutting and mixed utilization methods on plant composition, yield and live-stock keeping capacity of extensive Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae grassland in the 1996-2000 research period. Analysing the extensive utilizations effects on chanching of the plant composition of extensive grassland established that due to the cutting utilization method the area covering rates of gramineous and usefull weeds were the highest while the grazing utilization-method caused the briggest area covering rate for legumes and unusefull weeds. Analysing the utilized fibrin-fodder yield established that the single utilization methods could not produce the maximum yield and live-stock keeping capacity on the treathea grassland type. Because of things mentioned above we must use the mixed utilization methods to save the maximum phytomass.
This paper presents the total number and annual distribution of wild geese population on Puszta Hortobágy. Two migrating goose species, White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) and Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) contribute most to the total number of geese population. Feeding place selection of goose depend on the season. In autumn and winter, croplands largely provided food for geese. Due to selections among fields and parts of the field, sometimes relatively high grazing pressure for the whole area may be severely multiplied in some cases resulting potentially 100% shoot defoliation on the frequented sites of a wheat field.
The authors carried out an examination on two Saanen goat farms during four months from May to August 2008. The body condition score and milk production of the goats were measured. In data processing analysis of variance was used to compare the data of the studied farms. They tried to find the answer for the question how the body condition scores and milk production change in each month. The changes observed in each farm were examined separately then they compared the values of the two farms.. On one of the farms the nutrition was proper therefore with an ideal, intermediate body condition (average 2.73) the goats produced a good amount of milk (2.5 milk-kg/mother/day). On the other farm the nutrition was not proper, therefore the body condition of the goats was weak (average 1.88). Their milk production decreased significantly from month to month (average 2.35 milk-kg/mother/day). The authors could conclude considering both farms that the more milk the goats produced, the lower their body condition score became. The two parameters showed negative correlation.
The role of turf serving animal husbandry is significantly declining with the decreasing number of grazing livestock in Hungary. Accordingly, the area of under-utilized or non-utilized turfs is increasing. At the University of Debrecen, Institutes for Agricultural Research and Educational Farm, Karcag Research Institute we studied four types of turf utilization in three repetitions on a salt meadow with Alopecurus pratensis. As a result of the performed examinations, we identified the composition of the flora structure on the investigated area and we measured carbon-dioxide circulation and soil moisture.
The National Agricultural Environmental Management Project’s (NAEMP) extensive grassland farming project is aimed at extensive cultivation on of nearly 1.1 million hectares of grassland, and at improving the state of grasslands with nature- and environment protecting methods. By using the 2002 data (the NAEMP’s first year’s data), I came to the following conclusions: Within the Extensive grassland farming project, a state subsidy was applied for on 8.94% of Hungary’s total grasslands. In Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Hajdú-Bihar counties, applied for state subsidies covered 12% of the grassland of the counties.10.45% of the projects arrived from the county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, and 28.56% from the county of Hajdú-Bihar. In Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, the support was 37.7% of the total subsidy, while in Hajdú-Bihar, it was 37.1%, unlike nationwide, which was 30.1%.The intensity of the applications is respectively 1.7 and 2.5 times more than the National (1.24) value.
In my view, in some fields, which are not between nature protected areas you’d better consider permitting intensive cultivation, simultaneously with grazing, with the observation of nature- and environmental regulations.
With the decreasing number of grazing livestock in Hungary, the role of the turf cultivation is also significantly decreasing. The proportion of the under- and non-utilized turf is increasing. In the research conduced at the University of Debrecen, IAREF Research Institute Karcag, we studied four types of turf utilization in three replicates on a salt field with timothy grass. We determined the flora composition of the experimental area, measured the soil moisture and the carbon-dioxide content of the soil.
Cattle behaviour on rangeland depends on external factors, such as grass allowance and quality, temperature, net solar radiation, distance from water-source, wind speed and direction, air pressure changes and the applied breeding technology. Our research is based on previous empirical observations and modern methods to analyze the behaviour of the Hungarian Grey Cattle. Today it is crucial to use cost-effective solutions in modern beef cattle farming therefore we introduce a cost-efficient method to study and follow cattle herds. We are studying relation between traveled daily distance and air pressure. The various weather fronts influence behavioural characteristics and traveled daily distance. According to our hypothesis, the pressure-change and the wind direction has significant effect on cattle activity on pasture. As the different air masses alter the barometric conditions and unbalance the neuroendocrine system, indirectly cause relaxed or agitated behaviour
The authors examinated behaviour of twenty-eight, grouped-housed Hungarian large white x Hungarian landrasse gilts in grassland-based production system.
The social rank was recorded on two days following, social rank was unaffected by even age or weight of gilts.
The daily liferhythm was recorded on four different days in two weeks period. Within daily rhyhtm the following behaviours were recorded: eating, drinking, grazing, rooting, excretion and resting. On the first two observation days gilts were more active, in their daily activity two pitches were recorded.
30% of the whole paddock was used specifically by pigs as resting and excretion area.
The sward composition of different grasslands on Puszta Hortobágy has been developed according to prevailing abiotic and biotic factors. The abiotic conditions have been more or less constans for long periods of time, and the abiotic factors are determined by ecological conditions (climate, soil, topography). Among biotic factors grazing of herbivores was important in the development of Hortobágy grasslands for centuries (Sipos and Varga, 1993). Result of three-year investigations on the sward composition of grasslands utilised in different ways are presented. Data on ground cover, number of plant species, representation of different plant groups (grasses, sedge and bent-grass, herbs, legumes) and weeds are reported from six different grazed grassland types from Puszta Hortobágy.
In 1999-2001 a sward composition survey was conducted. Sample areas of 2x2 m2 were marked out in three replicates: on temporarily waterlogged grassland grazed by cattle (A), on dry grassland grazed by cattle (B), on dry grassland grazed by sheep (C), on dry grassland grazed by buffaloes (D), on dry grassland grazed by buffaloes and geese (E), on dry grassland cut for hay in May then grazed by geese (F). On the sample areas sward composition of grasslands was estimated according to Balázs (1949).
The average ground cover of different grasslands ranged between 60 and 100% (Table 2). The lowest value was found for grasslands C and E, which are grazed by sheep (C) and buffaloes and geese alternately (E). In these grasslands were some open spaces, on the other grasslands completely closed swards covers were observed.
The species diversity of these natural grasslands are high (Table 2). The grassland F, which were cut for hay in May had the lowest diversity (17-21). The highest number of species was found on grassland A and B (32-51), on other grazed grasslands (C, D, E) had 29-48 species.
The different plant groups had different representation in the total ground cover (Table 3). The number of herbs was always higher then that of grasses, but the cover of herbs was lower then that of grasses. The legumes and the sedge and bent grasses were present in high abundance in grassland A, but in the other grasslands were not.
The composition of herbs should be a warning for future utilisation systems on some grasslands of Hortobágy. Some species of herbs, e.g. Achillea millefolium, Artemisia vulgaris, Carduus acanthoides, Cirsium arvense, Cirsium vulgare Eryngium campestre, Galium mollugo, Galium verum, Ononis spinosa, Rumex crispus, Verbascum phlomoideus, Phragmites australis can be invasive on short grasslands.