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Abstract

Deficient trace elements concentration in soils, forages, and animals have been reported in several areas of Balkan region. Main challenge in overcoming low productivity of forage and animal production in this region is the lack of data on the nutritional status of the pastures and soils. This study examined the nutrient and pseudo total concentration of trace elements in soil and herbage plants, and the potential deficiency or excess with regards to crop and livestock production. Soil and plant samples from 100 sampling points were collected in the mountainous grasslands of Manjača (between longitudes 16°56′ and 17°8′ east; and latitudes 44°33′ and 44° 42′ north) and Vlašić (between longitudes 17°14′ and 17°29′ east; and latitudes 44°25′ and 44°37′ north). Soil samples were analysed for soil texture, pseudo total concentration (5 ml HNO3) of trace elements (TE), pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), while plant samples were analysed for TE. The soil pH varied from strongly acidic to moderately alkaline. The concentration of SOC varied from 0.5% to 12.3%. Most of the soil samples were finer-textured soils high in silt content. The average concentrations of Na, P, Zn, Se, Cu, Co, and B were low in both soil and herbage plants. Plant K, Ca, Mg, Mo, and Mn concentrations were sufficiently high to meet the requirements of grazing animals, while Fe concentrations was elevated in certain areas. High levels of Mo were found in both soil and plants. The results suggest that imbalances observed in natural pastures of Manjača and Vlašić area, caused by low soil TE concentration and other soil and plant properties, could contribute to poor animal nutrition.

Abstract

In order to evaluate the mineral composition of forage crops in respect to dairy cow nutrition 40 soil and corresponding plant (alfalfa, grasses and silage corn) samples were collected from 15 locations in Serbia and analyzed for the concentration of macro- (P, K, and Ca) and microelements (Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, Co, Se, and Mo). On average, the soils were well provided with the studied elements from the aspect of plant nutrition, but the analyzed fodder crops could not secure suffi cient amounts of Cu, Zn, Se, and Ca for dairy cow nutrition. Principal components analysis was applied in order to determine the connection between the concentrations of macro- and microelements in forage crops and their grouping into components responsible for most of the variability in mineral content. The mineral composition of alfalfa was defi ned by three components (Se, Zn, and Cu) which accounted for the largest part of the established variability. The variability of mineral composition of grasses was defi ned by four components (Zn, K, Se, and P) and that of silage corn by the concentrations of Fe, Mn, and K.

Abstract

In Serbia permanent grasslands represent a significant source of animal feed. However, in most regions the animal production and grazing, and thus the productivity and investment in grasslands, are on a very low level. This research aims to analyse impact of nitrogen fertilization and harrowing on lowland permanent grassland (Vojvodina province, Serbia) in order to improve floristic composition and thus yield and quality. Research was carried out during 2012-2015 in Vojvodina province, Serbia, on permanent grassland which was mainly used for sheep grazing. Trial included two nitrogen rates, namely 40 kg ha-1 and 80 kg ha-1, divided on plots with and without harrowing, as well as control treatments. Floristic composition was mostly composed of species from families Poaceace and Asteraceae with a small number and presence of legume species. The number of species changed in the third and fourth years of the trial. Cynodon dactylon L., Lolium perenne L., Festuca sp., were significantly higher on plots with the higher nitrogen rate, while on the control the most frequent spp. were Trifolium campestre Schreb. and Medicago lupulina L. Harrowing, on the other hand, had smaller impact on improvement of permanent grassland.

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Abstract

Three perennial legumes (alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil) and four cool-season perennial grasses (orchardgrass, tall fescue, Italian ryegrass and red fescue) were grown in legume–grass combinations and in pure stands of individual species, at three locations in the West Balkan region (Novi Sad, Banja Luka and Pristina) in the period from 2012 to 2015. The study evaluated dry matter yield, legume–grass–weed proportion and forage quality. High annual forage yield of legume–grass mixtures can be obtained with proper selection of species and an appropriate legume–grass ratio. However, high and stable yield, particularly in the case of grasses, depends on the amount and schedule of precipitation as well as the cutting time. The mixtures and legume pure stands achieved better forage production both per cutting and on the annual basis and had better forage quality than grass pure stands.