Estimating seasonal herbage production of a semi-arid grassland based on veld condition, rainfall and evapotranspiration

  • HA Snyman
  • HJ Fouché
Keywords: above-ground phytomass, basal cover, evapotranspiration, grassland, herbage, herbage production, orange free state, phytomass, phytomass production, production, production potential, rainfall, seasonal production, south africa, veld condition, veld condit


The relation between above-ground phytomass production and three independent variables, namely, seasonal rainfall, evapotranspiration (Et) and veld condition, were investigated using fourteen years' data (1977-1991) from the dry Themeda-Cymbopogon grassveld of the central Orange Free State. The data showed that rainfall and Et have equivalent estimation value. The multiple curvilinear regression equation (r = 0.88) that was established, with seasonal rainfall and veld condition score as the independent variables, can be used with great success in this veld type to estimate seasonal production potential. In terms of the above-ground phytomass production, it would appear that veld in good condition responds more efficiently to rainfall than veld in poor condition. Basal cover decreased linearly with a deterioration in veld condition.

Keywords: above-ground phytomass; basal cover; evapotranspiration; grassland; herbage; herbage production; orange free state; phytomass; phytomass production; production; production potential; rainfall; seasonal production; south africa; veld condition; veld condition score

African Journal of Range & Forage Science, Vol. 10(1), pp. 21-24

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9380
print ISSN: 1022-0119