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Forage management for the red soils of south central China

Overview of Project

The shortage of cultivable land in China is now a serious problem with losses due to road building and construction as well as to erosion. Ninety-five percent of China’s population live in the east and southeast and 600 million live in the 14 south and central provinces containing the red soils region.

Soil conditions are also acidic with high aluminium and iron oxide content. Widespread erosion has resulted in low soil organic matter and nutrients.

Due to clearing of the natural forest vegetation during the period since 1949, the red soils district now contains an estimated 480 000 km2 of eroded wasteland (18% of the total area). A further large area of the grassland is used only for low productivity grazing pasture. Reclamation of these deforested hillsides and the marginal lands surrounding rice paddies is now critical for improving the living standards of the region’s people."

Key Outcomes of Project

This project deals with the management and utilisation of forages after establishment, concentrating on pasture-only systems because of the greater return expected per unit of research effort for pasture. However, it is important to ensure that establishment costs are not put at risk by future crop failure.

The objectives of this project are to develop management stategies which will promote persistence while at the same time allowing forage to be removed from the pastures. The major climatic limitations for forage growth in the red soils region include the short cold winters with little sunlight, and frequent drought during summer and autumn."

Project Dates

01 Jul 1993 - 31 Oct 1997

Partners

University of New England - Australia
Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences - China
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences - China
CSIRO Division of Animal Production - Australia

Leaders

Associate Professor Donald MacLeod

Phone

067 732789

Website
Launch Website