Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Use of barley crops, and combinations of lucerne and Wimmera grass, as pasture for grazing sheep in the semiarid zones of Spain

A. de Vega A E , O. L. Valiente A B , G. Olmos A C and E. Pérez-Calvo A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Departamento de Producción Animal y Ciencia de los Alimentos, Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2), Universidad de Zaragoza-CITA, Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain.

B Present address: Departamento de Bromatología, Nutrición y Alimentación Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Ruta Mariscal Estigarribia km 10.5, Campus Universitario San Lorenzo, Paraguay.

C Present address: Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus SLP, Iturbide # 73 Salinas de Hidalgo, SLP 78600, México.

D Present address: DSM Nutritional Products France, Centre de Recherche en Nutrition et Santé Animale, F-68305 Saint-Louis, France.

E Corresponding author. Email: avega@unizar.es

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16788
Submitted: 1 December 2016  Accepted: 14 March 2017   Published online: 13 April 2017

Abstract

Taking into account the relationship between rainfall and temperature, 64% of the Spanish territory can be classified as arid (25%) or semiarid (39%). In these areas, vegetal surface includes permanent pastures and drought grasslands (34.0%), fallows (13.4%), winter cereals for grain production (21.2%), forage crops (mainly lucerne, and winter cereals harvested as green forage; 2.6%) and woodland hills. Ruminants in these zones account for 15.4 million head, of which nearly 80% are sheep. In the present paper, the possibilities of integrating sheep in cropping systems are discussed, and an alternative based on the use of permanent sowed prairies (lucerne), self-sowing annuals (Wimmera ryegrass) and winter cereals (barley) will be analysed.

Additional keywords: alfalfa, drylands, ewes.


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