Title: Effects of cutting height and frequency on yield in a Mongolian rangeland

Author(s): Bolormaa Baatar
Final project
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Mongolia, grazing, pastoralism, rangeland management


In the past, meadow rangelands in Mongolia were used for summer grazing and hayfields. Nowadays, however, they are grazed throughout the whole year. Changing environmental, economic, and political conditions have had a great impact on Mongolian pastoralism. The consequences are severe degraded rangelands due to overgrazing and climate change, especially during the last 20 years. Therefore, a new grazing system that is adapted to changed climate conditions is needed. -The aim of this research was to determine the effects of cutting frequency and stubble height (simulated grazing) on total yield and regrowth in order to provide information for recommendation for rangeland management. Vegetation was cut to two different stubble heights (base and 3 cm) on up to four occasions (some plots were cut every month during the growing season) over a two year period. The experiment was fully factorial in a randomised complete block design with five replications carried out at the Agrostis-forb meadow rangeland in the forest steppe zone of Mongolia. Sampling was carried out in 2006 and 2007. Total yield decreased as the number of cuttings increased. Cutting to the ground (0 cm) gave a significantly higher total yield than cutting to 3 cm during the first year. However total yield and regrowth were lower in the second year. Cutting to the ground three and four times during the growing season strongly affected the yield of the following year. Based on these results, the optimum cutting regime for rangeland management appears to be cutting twice a year ( July and August) and leaving a 3 cm sward remaining when cut.

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