Pasture and Forage Crops

<h1>PASTURE AND FORAGE CROPS</h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>Meaning of Pasture and Forage Crops</li> <li>Uses of Forage/Pasture Crops</li> <li>Types of Pasture</li> <li>Common Grasses and Legumes</li> <li>Description of Grasses and Legumes</li> <li>Factors Affecting the Distribution and Productivity of Pasture</li> <li>Establishment and Management of Pasture</li> <li>Determination of Plant Population</li> </ol>   <h2>Meaning of Pasture and Forage Crops</h2> A pasture is an area of land on which grasses and legumes (forages) grow for animals to graze. Forage crops are plants cultivated for their vegetative portions in a pasture and are used either in fresh or preserved for feeding livestock such as cattle, sheep and goat. They may be harvested and fed to the animals in their shed (soiling/zero grazing) or animals are allowed to graze directly on the field. <img class="size-full wp-image-52037 aligncenter" src="https://classhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pasture-and-forage-crops.jpg" alt="Pasture and forage crops" width="498" height="194" />   <h2>Uses of Forage/Pasture Crops</h2> Forage and pasture crops are used for the following: <ol> <li>Forages account for a major source of food for ruminant animals</li> <li>They serve as cover crops to conserve soil moisture and prevent soil erosion.</li> <li>They could be used as green manure e.g forage legumes</li> <li>They can be used for roofing farm stead e.g grasses</li> <li>They can also be used as bedding materials for animals</li> <li>They can fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil</li> <li>Forage legumes increase proteins content of the pasture, add to palatability as well as increasing the nitrogen content of the soil.</li> <li>If properly managed and planned, it could be a source of balanced diet.</li> </ol> EVALUATION <ol> <li>What do you understand by the term pasture?</li> <li>State five importances of forages in livestock production.</li> </ol>   <h2>Types of Pasture</h2> There are two main types of pasture: the natural and artificial pastures: 1. <strong>The Natural Pasture</strong>: The Natural Pasture otherwise known as range land is an extensive grassland containing forage grasses and legumes, straws and other wildlife. An example of Natural Pasture is Savanna areas. They are not planted by man. <h3>Characteristics of Natural Pasture</h3>

Husbandry of Selected Crops (continued)

<h1>HUSBANDRY OF SELECTED CROPS</h1> CONTENT <ol> <li>Vegetables - Tomato</li> <li>Beverages - Cocoa</li> <li>Oil - Oil Palm</li> </ol>   <h2>Tomato: <em>Lycopersicon esculentum</em></h2> <h3>Description of Tomato</h3> This is an annual vegetable crop grown for its fruits. The plant has a weak hairy and triangular stem which bears side branches. It has compound leaves, borne alternately on the stem and branches. Tomato bears yellow flowers; the fruit are green and turn red, pink or yellow when ripe. The fruit can be eaten raw/ cooked, used for soup or stew preparation, or in preparing vegetable salad and other food. <h3>Varieties of Tomato</h3> Cultivated varieties of tomato are Roma, Bonny best, Hot set, Ife plum, Romita, money-maker, pork, and local cultivars. <h3>Land Preparation for Tomato Cultivation</h3> Land clearing is done manually with cutlass, ridges is made with hoe, or can be prepared by ploughing, harrowing and ridging. <h3>Method of Propagation</h3> Propagation is by seed planted either directly or first in nursery and later transfer to the field. The planting could be by drilling or broadcasting. <h3>Soil Requirement</h3> It does best in a rich drained loamy soil. <h3>Climate</h3> Tomato is a warm season crop and does best under dry condition. Annual rainfall is 750mm. Temperature is between 20ºC to 25ºC. <h3>Planting Date</h3> Early September to October <h3>Seed Rate</h3> 5-10kg of seeds/ha <h3>Nursery Practices</h3> It is done on ground, beds or seed boxes. Seeds are sown in drill 5cm apart and 2.5cm deep Shading, mulching, weeding and watering are done. Nursery last for 3 weeks when the plants are at three leaved stage <h3>Spacing</h3> <ul> <li>60cm × 60cm without staking</li> <li>50cm × 30cm with staking</li> </ul> <h3>Transplanting</h3> Transplanting is done after the seedlings have reached about 15-20cm tall. This is about 25-30days. The plants should have attained up to 4-5 leaves stage before transplanting to the field. Planting in the field is 45-60cm between rows and 30-45cm between plants. Transplanting should done in the evening or during cool weather together with the ‘ball of earth’ to ensure survival of the seedlings. <h3>Cultural Practices</h3> <ol> <li>Weeding</li> <li>Watering (this should be done immediately after transplanting morning and evening)</li> <li>Fertilizer application: NPK 15:15:15 and organic manure are necessary</li> <li>Staking: this is to enable plants stand erect and prevent lodging. It also allows for good fruiting and keep fruit from disease attack arising from contact with soil.</li> </ol> <h3>Harvesting, Processing and Storage</h3> Tomato matures between 2-4 months after planting (from transplanting). Harvesting is done by hand picking and it starts as from two months. For a short period, tomato can be stored in a refrigerator or spread on the floor in an airy room. For a long term storage, tomatoes are turned into paste and canned <h3>Pests of Tomato</h3>

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