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The Evaluation of Grazed Grasslands on the Hortobágy
Published May 11, 2003

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 he...rbivores 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.

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Yield and sward composition responses of a native grassland to compost application
Published August 29, 2017

A major part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be realized, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition these ecosystems have an import...ant role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and the fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. The first type of compost was a natural one (N) without any additional material and the other one was enriched in phosphorus (E). Both was produced by the research institute, made of sheep manure. Three rates of compost (10 t ha-1, 20 t ha-1,30 t ha-1) were tested on 3 m×10 m experimental plots. Every treatments had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield and crude protein content was measured in laboratory and with the received data the yield per unit area was calculated. Based on the research results we can say that the application of compost in any dose inflicts higher dry material and crude protein yield. The changes were partly due to some positive changes in sward composition, because of the better nutrient conditions. The research results indicate, that use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

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The Effect of Utilization Systems on the Sward Composition, Yield and Sheep Carrying Capacity of Extensive Grasslands
Published May 11, 2003

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 grasslan...d 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.

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The effect of compost made of sheep manure on the first cut of a semi-natural grassland
Published December 28, 2018

In an experiment, two types of compost were tested on natural grassland in order to improve the productivity of a natural sward on solonetz soil. Both composts were made of on-farm produced sheep manure, but the second one was enriched in phosphorus. These fertilizers/composts are officially authorized and can be applied in organic farming. Zer...o application and three rates of fertilizer were tested (10 t ha-1, 20 t ha-1, 30 t ha-1) on 30 m2 experimental plots wit four replications. Dry matter, crude protein and net energy content for maintenance were measured and determined and their yields per unit area were calculated. We found that all the treated plots produced significantly higher yield than the control ones, and in some cases the yields were almost three times higher. However, the optimal compost dose varied, depending on the examined parameter. Based on the evaluation of the experiment results along with rainfall data, it was concluded that, with higher precipitation, the positive effect of the compost application was bigger. The difference between the natural and enriched compost is remarkable, but it has to be mentioned that even the natural compost showed good results; therefore, it is also effective in improving the fertility of grassland.

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