Four ecotypes of Eragrostis curvula, namely, Cape Province 5, Ermelo, Pearston 204 and Makwassie 150 were evaluated in a grazing trial with sheep, at three stocking rates, during two growing seasons. Under conditions of very lenient utilization, where the animals could select freely, the animals on Cape Province 5 had significantly higher mass gains than on any one of the other ecotypes. The sheep on Pearston 204, on the other hand, showed higher live mass gains, although these were not significant, under conditions of more intensive utilization. There were no significant differences in the dry matter production and chemical composition of the clipped samples of the ecotypes.
Keywords: afrikaans; chemical composition; dry matter production; ecotypes; eragrostis curvula; grazing; live mass; live mass gains; open rotational grazing system; production; sheep; south africa; stocking rates; university of pretoria; utilization