Weed Infestation Rate and Effect on the Cultivated Pasture Productivity at University of Fort Hare Dairy Trust, South Africa

Masibonge Gxasheka, Mota Lesoli, Bukho Gusha, Simthandile Gxasheka, Cebisa Kumanda, Thobela Louis Tyasi


Pasture-based dairy farming is widely practised along coastline of South Africa. Cultivated pastures serves as cheapest source of protein for dairy cows of these dairy farms; although, unwanted plants (weeds) reduce their production. Here, we evaluate the weed infestation rate with its effect on the biomass production of the cultivated pasture. Weeds exert a competition which can cause considerable pasture yield reduction. A total of 6 camps were selected for this study. Selection criteria included the presence of weeds on three camps that were previously applied roundup herbicide and three camps that were not applied roundup herbicide. And also, different levels of weed infestation were considered. The application of roundup herbicide did not really affect weed infestation. Thus, indicates that some are resistant to the herbicide. Moreover, high infestation of weeds has a significant effect on the total biomass production. From these findings, nutritional analysis of these weeds would be necessary to examine the quality or condition of weeds in terms toxicity levels. Thus, also test out whether those weeds contribute on the total biomass does not have smell on the feed that could affect feed intake or quality of the milk.

Key words: Weeds infestation, cultivated pastures, Weed density

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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