BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
Land use change
3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Cattle and sheep
Sheep and goats
|5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Forage production on arable land
6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES
Improvement of forage production on arable land
Improvement of forage production on grasslands
7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is on the Balkan Peninsula, between 420 26' and 450 15' N and 150 45' and 190 41' E, bordered by Croatia (932 km) to the north, west and south, Serbia (302 km) to the east and Montenegro (225 km) to the south (Figure 1). Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for 26 kilometres of Adriatic coastline centred on the town of Neum. The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which form roughly four fifths of the country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south.
Administration, Population, Language and Currency.
The country is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks (48%) are the most numerous group, with Serbs (37%) second and Croats (14%) in third place (World Factbook). The population was estimated in July 2009 at 4 613 414, with a growth rate of 0.34 % (World Factbook). Languages are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, all official and mutually understandable among the three ethnic groups. Croatian and Bosnian are written in the Latin alphabet: Serbian is written in both Latin and Cyrillic.
The national currency is the Euro-pegged Convertible Mark (KM), controlled by a currency board. According to Eurostat data, Bosnia and Herzegovinaxs GDP per capita stood at 30 per cent of the EU average in 2008.
Land quality classes are given in Table 1. The best quality land (classes I to III ) covers 14.0%,, class IV land covers 17.9%, class V 16.7%, class VI 31.83% and classes VII and VIII 19.4% (data according to a classification made by the Institute of Agropedology Sarajevo see Dugoročni Program Razvoja, 1986-2000).
Forty-five percent of agricultural land is hilly (300 -700 m), of medium quality and well suited to semi-intensive livestock production. Mountain areas (> 700 m.) account for a further 35 percent of agricultural land but high altitude, steep slopes and lower soil fertility limit the use of this land to grazing in spring and summer. Less than 20 percent of agricultural land (half of all arable) is suitable for intensive agriculture, mostly in lowland river valleys. The land base for agriculture is thus very limited in both quantity and quality. Natural water resources are more abundant, with many unpolluted rivers and readily accessible groundwater. Despite the abundance of water only about 10 000 ha (0.1 percent of arable land) was irrigated before the war, an area which could be increased significantly.
Although the territory is mainly mountainous, little has been done to improve water and soil conditions in upland areas. Excessive deforestation, inappropriate conversion of grassland to arable and uncontrolled cultivation of sloping terrain are degrading the land even in the valleys and lowland regions. The large sums invested in the protection of flat areas (river course direction, embankments, outfall drains, pumping stations) remain ineffective if soil and water conservation measures, both of an agricultural engineering and technical nature, are not undertaken in the hilly-mountainous uplands. Such measures would contribute to revitalising the mountainous area and would provide better protection for the lowlands.
Land use: Agricultural production decreased enormously during the war. A large proportion of the means of production were destroyed, and more than 237 000 hectares were mined. Now the greater part of the agricultural land (Figure 2) is under meadow and pasture (56%), then comes ploughed fields (40%) and orchard and vineyards (4%).
However, agriculture is still one of the most important economic sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing food security for a significant part of the rural population. According to the Central Bank of B&H, agriculture accounted for 10.1% of GDP in 2007. But most farms are small scale family subsistence units delivering any surpluses to neighbours or local markets as shown by the data in Table 2. More than 66% of farms have less than three hectares. The average size of a household farm is about 3.0 hectares divided into 8 to 10 plots. Moreover, for better understanding of the land relationships, it is useful to have an insight into the ratio of different categories of land use per inhabitant in relation to altitude in the layout of the landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Table 3).
The largest part of the arable land is under cereals (Table 4); maize is most important. Forage production (although there are no data in Table 4) is in second and vegetables in third place. Roughly, forage is produced on 30 % of arable area (clovers, alfalfa, grass-legume mixtures and maize for silage) and on 1 400 000 ha of permanent grasslands which are mostly in hilly and mountainous areas [FAOSTAT estimate for the area of permanent meadows and pastures is approximately 1 030 000 to 1 057 000 ha. in the period 2000 to 2007].
In general agricultural technology is outdated. During the last ten years,
there has not been sufficient investment for modernisation in state enterprises;
private firms lack financial resources as well as know-how to modernize.
Product prices have been quite stable since the Convertible Mark (KM)
was introduced in 1997.
The difference between the two entities is significant. In the Republika Srpska, which has the most productive agriculture, agriculture contributes a larger share than in B&H.
In B&H there are 2 725 000 registered working age persons, of which 1 170 946 are economically active. 662 475 people were officially registered as being employed in 2006, the remainder (508 471) is considered unemployed (43.9% of total labour force in 2006). According to official statistics available, the share of the agri-food sector (agricultural production, food processing) accounted for 8.7% of GDP in 2006 and share of the agri-food sector in total recorded employment for the whole country in 2006 is about 7.4% (47 000 people with 23 000 in primary agriculture). In fact most people active in agriculture do not register as being employed in the sector. Consequently the share of agriculture in total employment is reported at below 4%. Having in mind an estimated number of agricultural holdings of about 540 000 (with an estimated 159 000 units above 5 ha) proves the significant undervaluation of the importance of agriculture in employment. As there is no recent population census it is impossible to quantify any exact data for real agricultural employment. Anyhow it seems reasonable to estimate that at least half of those people officially counted as unemployed are working in agriculture, so the World Bank estimate of 18% share in employment may still be an underestimate.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a net importer of food. Almost all food products are imported, above all wheat, meat products, dairy products and fruit juices. This is not a new situation since the farming sector was not able to satisfy domestic demand before the conflict. However, the trade deficit in agricultural and food products has grown. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small open economy. In South Eastern Europe only it and Bulgaria have a trade value higher than GDP. Tariff protection is lower than all neighbouring countries. The simple average of ad valorem duties applied in 2001 was 6.0 per cent for all goods, including 4.8 per cent for agriculture and 6.2 per cent for non-agricultural products (WTO, 2006). It is an exception to the usual trend when countries protect agriculture with higher tariffs than the non-agricultural sectors. This re-emphasizes the need to increase the competitiveness of the country's agriculture.
The trade deficit is larger (relatively) in the agricultural sector than for total trade. In 2005 about 18 per cent of total import consisted of agricultural and food products, whereas the share of exports was 6 per cent. The coverage of exports/imports in per cent is 11.7 for agricultural and food products compared to 34.5 for total trade.
At present, institutional capacity at state-level to harmonize, coordinate and monitor agriculture and forestry policies, legislation and rural development programs is almost non-existent. A draft Law on Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has been prepared by MoFTER, with technical support from the EU, involving working groups from the two entities and Brcko district, and the Law was adopted by Parliamentary Assembly of B&H in June 2008 (Law on Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Official Gazette B&H 50/08).
The Basic Soil Map (BSM) Project was established in 1964 at the scale of 1:50,000 and was implemented by the Agropedology Institute from Sarajevo and the first Manual for field soil investigation published. The BSM, developed on pedogenetic principles, lasted from 1966 to 1986, and was the largest pedological project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Classification of soils is based on genetic-evolutionary principles, in which the type of soil was the basic unit of classification system. Map units included type, subtype, variety and even form. Morphological and lithological characteristics were the chief criteria. 1 176 mapping units have been identified on the soil map of B&H. The total number of printed sheets is 116.
The soil map of B&H at scale 1:50 000 dates from more than 20 years ago. Since then genetic-evolutionary classification has been through significant changes, which clearly can be seen from the terminology of the map units in the legend of the map.
There were two periods in development of the soil map, which differ from each other in inventory criteria, classification and methods. In the first period from 1963 to 1973, the national classification was based on genetic principles. In the second period 1973 to 1985, a new classification was adopted, which was influenced by international classifications, and this is readily apparent on soil maps made after 1973. In the second stage of mapping, application of modern methods were used such as telemetric research using aerial photography at various scales. At first, black and white photography was used, following by colour photography.
A very important task for soil scientists is to adapt the national classification to the FAO one, and to carry out adjustments to the database of the BSM of B&H. Bosnia and Herzegovina is very rich in soil types (see Figure 5) whose characteristics derive from its range of geology, morphology, climate conditions and other factors.
The lowland zone, in the northern part of B&H, is the most valuable land. There, the degree of development of primary food production is much higher than in the hilly-mountainous areas. The most common soils are: Stagnic Podzoluvisols, Fluvisols, Umbric Gleysols and Eutric Gleysols.
The hilly zone is more heterogeneous than the lowland zone in terms of soil. A considerable part has slopes above 13% and the processes of erosion are very marked and are exacerbated by inappropriate ways of farming, lack of water and soil conservation measures and preference for row-crops (maize and potato) on such terrains. The commonest soil types are: Chromic Luvisols, Eutric Cambisols, Leptosols x Rendzic Leptosols and Vertisols.
In the mountain zone erosion processes are also present, although these lands are mostly covered by forests and grasslands. Among sown crops, rye, barley, oats and potato dominate. The commonest soil types are: Dystric Cambisols and Dystric Regosols, followed by Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Regosols.
The Mediterranean zone, with its warmer climatic conditions, can
grow a wide variety of crops and support intensive farming, so that as
well as traditional arable crops, early vegetables are grown for local
markets. Fruit-growing and vine-growing are also developed here. The commonest
soil types are: Lithic Leptosols, Regosols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols,
Chromic Cambisols, Fluvisols in the river valleys, Umbric and Eutric Gleysols
in the karst fields. In swamps, Histosols are often present which are
Land use change
Hilly-mountains region, with variations of continental, high-mountainous and alpine climate, average temperatures in January from -0.3oC to -7.4 oC, in July 10.2 oC to 21.2 oC.
Southern region, with characteristics of Mediterranean climate, average temperatures in January being 2.3oC, in July 22.5oC to 25.7 oC, and precipitation of about 2 000 mm.
The varying climatic conditions offer wide possibilities for agricultural production, both in terms of crop choice and cultivation of land farming, fruit-growing, vine-growing, vegetable growing and forage crops and in terms of livestock production.
The spatial variation of the hydrological cycle (Figure 6.) is very characteristic for B&H. For instance, the mean annual precipitation in the southern region is 2.5 times larger than in northern region, and twice that in the central region. In the south, the mostly Mediterranean type precipitation is between 1 500 and 2 000 mm of rain, potential evapotranspiration 900 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation requirement 300 mm and potential outflow or surplus from 900 to 1 400 mm. It is interesting that the southern region has the most abundant precipitation, but also the highest water deficit, and highest water surplus in the absolute and relative sense.
The mean annual precipitation in central region of B&H is about 1,000 mm, potential evapotranspiration 650 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation water requirement 50 mm and potential outflow or surplus 400 mm. This region has a much better water-balance than the southern region. In the northern region of B&H mean annual precipitation is about 800 mm, potential evapotranspiration 700 mm, actual evapotranspiration 600 mm, potential water deficit or irrigation water requirement is 100 mm and potential outflow or surplus 200 mm. This region, with its continental climate characteristics, is more similar to the central than to the southern region regarding the soil water cycle.
The flat or lowlands zone is found in the northern part of B&H and represents the most valuable land resource. The degree of development of primary food production is much higher than in the hilly-mountainous areas and the most common soil types are: Stagnic Podzoluvisols, Fluvisols, Umbric Gleysols and Eutric Gleysols.
The hilly zone is more heterogeneous than the lowland zone in terms of soil. A considerable part of this zone has slopes above 13% and the processes of erosion are very marked and are exacerbated by inappropriate ways of farming, lack of water and soil conservation measures and preference being given to row crops (corn and potato) on such terrains. The most common types of soil are: Chromic Luvisols, Eutric Cambisols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Vertisols.
In the mountain zone the erosion processes are present also, although these lands are mostly covered by forests and grasslands. The main sown crops are rye, barley, oats and potato and the most common types of soil are: Dystric Cambisols and Dystric Regosols, followed by Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols and Regosols.
The Mediterranean zone, with its warmer climatic conditions, can grow a wide variety of crops and supports intensive farming, so that as well as traditional arable crops, early vegetables are also being cultivated for local markets. Fruit-growing and vine-growing are also developed here, so that this region is also called the region of southern crops. The most common types of soil are: Lithic Leptosols, Regosols, Leptosols - Rendzic Leptosols, Chromic Cambisols, Fluvisols in the river valleys, Umbric and Eutric Gleysols in the karst fields. In swamps Histosols are often present and these are environmentally important.
The share of livestock in total agricultural production is estimated at 50% which is much lower than it was and could be, considering natural preconditions for livestock production and the level of animal production before the war. There were 970,142 cattle in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the war; they were owned by the state in numerous state concerns and state farms. The breeding system, production and sale was established and organized by the state. After the war the number of cows was 218,406, and number in milk production 161,452.
After the first five years of the post-war livestock fund reconstruction during which the number of livestock was increasing very fast, 2001 and 2002 were characterized with a decrease in cattle numbers and modest increases of sheep, pig and chickens, and since 2003, all livestock categories are increasing except goats (Table 5).
Cattle and sheep
Sheep are widely distributed, being most evident in hill and especially mountain areas where they are often the only, or the main, farm enterprises. Sheep are predominantly kept out of doors for all or most of the year, or housed in the winter when grazing is unavailable. In Bosnia it is still common practice for sheep to migrate from mountain to hilly or plain areas for grazing during winter.
The main characteristic of the pre-war primary dairy sector were: a dominant share of small producers (up to three heads); very low yields (1 400 litres per cow p.a.); low milk collection rate (12-15%); poor herd breed composition and no selection activities in the private sector; private producers were not included in incentive and supportive measures of the government; state owned farms had higher yields but they only produced 30% of the milk, so the majority of milk producers were left to themselves. War damage almost destroyed the sector completely. In 1991, the number of cows in -Bosnia and Herzegovina was 623,000 and average annual yield of 1 410 litres per cow. During the war the number of cows fell by 60%, and milk production by even more as the average milk yield also fell. Many farmers became refugees or were displaced so the number of farmers decreased. An estimated 80% of farm infrastructure suffered war damage and access to agricultural land suitable for livestock production was restricted due to the numerous minefields. Channels for milk distribution were disrupted and the majority of institutions specialized in supporting the dairy sector ceased activities.
The dairy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been the subject of many studies and development programmes and projects as a priority agricultural sector. The Government emphasizes that the agriculture and dairy sector, are strategic and, although the level of regulation in the dairy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is far behind EU member states, it is still the most regulated agricultural sector in the country. Thus, in 2005, Republika Srpska (RS) allocated 26% (4.4 million) and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) allocated 43% (3.5 million) of their total budgets for subsidies for the dairy sector.
The trend in milk productions over the 2000-2007 in terms of cattle numbers, total milk production and yield per cow per annum is shown in Table 6 (where figures differ slightly from the FAO data in Table 5). Cattle numbers declined in 2001 and 2002, and have been slowly increasing since. The 2007 number of cows is only 53% of the pre war one. Milk production over 2000-2007 recorded constant growth and reached 724 million litres in 2007, which is 39% more than in 2000. It is encouraging that the increased milk production is the result of increased yield per cow which rose from 1 781 l in 2000 to 2 360 l in 2006, or 32%. Yield per cow in 2007 is 39% higher than pre period, thanks to improvement of the breed composition.
A farm register has not yet been set up in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so it is impossible to get reliable data on farm numbers and their structure. Average herd size was 2.32 head in 2007 (Table 7), which is far below for example Slovenia (6.6) and other EU countries. Small farms up to two head account for 48.5% of the total cow herd, and 95.5% of the herd is on farms up to 30 head. Even farms that are considered as medium or large for local conditions have few cows. Thus, average size of the farms that have 5-10 head is 6.72, for farms with 11-30 cows average is 16.64 head; 46.11 for those with 31-100 heads and 259 head for farms with more than 100 head. Only 3.1% of all cows are on farms with over 100 head. Such unfavourable structure with many very small farms has numerous consequences on performance at farm level. This structure also indicates low specialization in agricultural production as most dairy farms are not commercially specialised in milk production, but semi-subsistence farms in which milk is a source of certain and safe income.
Milk yield per cow per year in B&H has been recording a constant but very modest increase in the last decade. Average yield of 2 360 l per cow in 2007 is 50% higher than in 1996. Yield per cow is somewhat higher in Republika Srpska than in the Federation of B&H, but, in general, is very low and far below the yields in EU countries. There are many reasons for such poor productivity; first is poor animal nutrition. Grazing is rare due to small farm plots. Hay, as a main component of the diet, is often of poor quality. In winter hay is often combined with maize silage. Part of the diet is concentrate or energy feeds like corn. During the growing season animals are fed on green forage of legumes or grass-legume mixtures (temporary grasslands). Besides, there are poor herd breed composition and the poor level of technical and technological knowledge of the farmers. The number of market-oriented farmers who already achieve remarkable results is also increasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks, among others, to a number of development projects implemented by international organizations during the last decade.
As far as delivery of milk to the dairies is concerned, significant progress has been recorded during 2000-2006. In 2000-2005, collection increased annually by 22%, and then slowed down in 2006, due to closing down of some dairies. In delivery of milk to the dairies FB&H contributed with 51%, RS with 47% and Brcko District with 2%. In 2006 180 million litres of milk were delivered to the dairies, which was 7% more than in the previous year and amounted to 27% of total milk production. Although this means that significant quantities of milk are still not sold to dairies but consumed or processed domestically or sold locally, milk collection is 71% higher in 2006 than pre-war. 31,414 farmers are included in milk collection and the average delivery per farmer in 2006 was 5,660 l (6,416 in FB&H and 5,020 in RS).
Consumption data are not recorded so it is difficult to provide data
about dairy consumption, but taking into account production and import
less export the consumption of all milk products is increasing gradually
each year. In 2007 the consumption per capita of fluid milk was 43.5 kg,
yoghurt 7.71 kg, cheese 3.14 kg, while butter consumption stagnated at
0.55 kg.; these levels are very low comparing to most EU countries.
The official statistical office is still in the process of development so it is hard to obtain reliable data about sector economic performance. Total dairy industry sales and exports have been gradually increasing during 2004-2006. The increase rate of dairy sales was 34% in 2006 compared to 2004. The sector is not an important contributor to the GDP, but its contribution increased from 0.698% of GDP in 2004 to 0.777% in 2006. Sector output share in total industry output is changing slowly from 7.4% in 2004 to 7.9% in 2006. It means the sector is small but its performances are improving each year. More than 20% of dairy production is exported. The share of dairy products value in exports of agriculture and food products is gradually increasing over time and in 2007 it reached 23% of total agribusiness export. Compared to other food sectors dairy export performance is good and more importantly it has been improving over time.
According to data from the Chamber of Foreign Trade, the meat sector is among the least as regards foreign exchange. In 2000, total meat imports amounted to 89.9 million, while the value of exports was only 8.24 millions. In 2006, the situation was even worse at, 127.12 million and 8.33 million respectively. Even with the current low average meat consumption per capita, estimated at 34.8 kg, Bosnia and Herzegovina is self-sufficient only in sheep and goat meat. The percentage self sufficiency is, according to expert estimations, much lower than officially reported due to illegal imports. According to official data, self-sufficiency in beef was 70% in 2006, while in the Mid-term Strategy of the Agricultural Sector in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina (FBH), the experts estimated self-sufficiency it at only 27%. Self-sufficiency is lower in FBH than in Republika Srpska, but official data do not include trade in illegal imports on the black market so they give the false picture that self-sufficiency is higher than it really is. But, although much lower than in the past, beef is still the single most common meat consumed contributing 35.5% in 2000 and 32.88% in 2006. Records indicate a slow but constant increase in the share provided by sheep and goat meat, rising from 9.3% in 2000 to 12.63% in 2006.
Opportunities for further sector development should be sought in very low self sufficiency. Gaining the trust of consumers in the quality of domestically produced meat should also be considered. Meat producers are not competitive on the market due to the lack of support, lack of efficient control of the border and the consequent large amounts of cheap black market meat, unstable and high prices of inputs, but also their weaknesses at farm level. These weaknesses are easily seen in poor production practices, low levels of technical knowledge, insufficient care of animal feeding and welfare and many other issues. These weaknesses result in low yields, high production costs, inefficiency and low competitiveness. Therefore, the main challenge will be to increase the efficiency of meat producers; underused capacity of many slaughterhouses and meat processing plants can accommodate all current and foreseen quantities of domestically produced meat.
Sheep and goats
Sheep farming is historically nomadic; it is still common practice that sheep are moved from mountain to hilly or plain areas for grazing in winter. Otherwise sheep are predominantly grazed out of doors. In future that nomadic system may be forbidden due to changes of arable land utilization, but also because of some sheep diseases. Sheep usually graze on low productive pastures getting also some salt. The number of sheep per flock varies from 50 to 200, rarely more.
The dominant sheep breed is Pramenka, a primitive breed adapted to harsh environments and feeding. Body weight of ewes is 25-55 and rams 35-80 kg, with meat ratio after slaughtering 40-50%. This breed is triple-purpose: meat, milk and wool. Depending on where they are developed they are known as follows: Dubska, Privorska, Kupreska, Stolacka and Podveleska. The most important and widespread is the Dubska breed, well known also Vlasicka, in central Bosnia on the Vlasić mountain (Photo 1).
In the 1990s there were programs of improving the Pramenka (see Photo 2) breed by crossing with Wurttemberg, but this lapsed during the war.
Pramenka produce 70 to 100 litres of milk and 1.5 to 2 kg wool. Milk is used in the family or for making cheese. Famous cheeses include Vlasic cheese, Livno cheese (Photo 3), cheese from sack a fermented cheese (see Photo 3) made in a sheep skin or sack from sheep milk or mixed sheep and cow milk in Herzegovina, and special sheep cheeses. Nowadays efforts are being made to have these cheeses connected to their geographical origin for sale on the European market.
Goats do not have such economic importance as sheep. It is thought that goats are more suited to poor people; they are modest concerning food and accommodation but they can get milk and meat for a poor family. This could be the reason for more goats in 1996 (136 800 head) than in 2007 (70 255 head). Goat milk and meat is of a high quality and demand is increasing.
The main breed spread in Bosnia is the Balkanic goat which can be found in the hilly and mountain region, but now and then at lower altitude. It has good resistance to unfavourable environmental conditions and they are very modest concerning feeding. It can be coloured white, black and brown. Body weight ranges from 30 to 40 kg for female and 40 to 60 kg for males. Milk yield is around 130 l per year.
Livestock production is emphasised in all strategies, both in Republic Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and forage production is given high importance. But just as the livestock sector has numerous difficulties so does forage production.
The main characteristic of pre-war ruminant production was a dominant share of small producers, up to three head; very low milk yields (1 400 litre per cow p.a.), poor breed composition and they were not included in the supportive measures of the government. They did not pay much attention to forage production and quality. State owned farms had better breeds and higher yields, but represented only 30% of milk production; they had better organized forage production, with higher yields of forage, usually of better quality. War damage almost destroyed the sector, and forage production shared the same destiny.
Data about forage crops on arable (Table 9) land indicate that, thirteen years later, there is less sown forage than before the war. However, it seems that forage yield per hectare is increasing. Perennial forage crops occupy the majority of arable land under this type of production. In recent years more attention is given to maize for silage, especially in lowland. Among perennials, by area clovers are more important than alfalfa although the latter is more productive. Soils in Bosnia and Herzegovina are more suitable for red clover or other perennial legumes. In the statistics for B&H clovers include bird's foot trefoil and sainfoin.
Alibegovic-Grbic (1992) noted dry matter yield for alfalfa, clover and grass legume mixtures (Photos 4 and 5) as follows 3.36; 2.8 and 2.6 t ha1, respectively. These yields are a third or less of the potential of the most important perennial forages. It is encouraging that yields show an increasing trend and even higher yields can be expected with improving socio-economic conditions in the state.
Perhaps the greatest problem is poor forage quality due to late mowing; farmers mow perennial legumes at late flowering or even later, as well as grasses. Grass-legume mixtures (temporary grasslands) consist of many species of different maturities which makes for problems in defining time of mowing to get quality forage. These crops are used as green forage during the vegetation season; less often grazed and for haymaking. Silage making from perennials is not common in Bosnia, but lately more and more big bales can be seen.
Seed is another problem because most of it is now imported on the black market and through "holes" along the state border; the quality of imported seed is very questionable (variety, origin, disease status and so on). Domestic seed production is ruined due to the low price of imported seed and its production is now very limited. Farmers mention that they sow alfalfa in spring and by next spring it has disappeared. Formerly there was forage crop breeding, on a modest scale, producing Bosnian cultivars: BL- 422, Banjalučanka, Sonja, Biljana, Olimpik 84 (alfalfa); BL-17, Tera, Butmirka (Bird's foot trefoil); BL-4, BL Krajina (Cocksfoot); BL-B (Timothy) and Buki (Red fescue). Unfortunately, seed from domestic cultivars can only be found in very small quantities, or not at all. In the past -Bosnia was known as a seed exporter.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is characterized by very different soil and climate conditions and that is why there are many different types of grassland (Photo 6). Usually they are rich in species but botanical composition varies from acid to calcareous, from wet to dry soils, deep to shallow. There has been much research on grassland associations and their botanical composition, especially after the Second World War, but the inventory is not yet complete. According to the literature and some recent inventories, Bosnia and Herzegovinian grassland include:
Phragmiteto-Magnocaricetea, wet grasslands can be found in Posvina, karst valleys, along rivers or lakes. Botanical composition of these grasslands includes the following species: Phragmites communis, Iris pseudacorus, Alisma plantago, Cicuta virosa, Oenanthe aquatica, Scirpus lacustris, Typha latifolia, Lysimachia vulgaris, Solanum dulcamara, Typha angustifolia, Myosotis palustris, Acorus calamus, Glyceria acquatica, Sium latifolium, Sparganium neglectum, Phalaris arundinacea, Veronica anagallis, Oenanthe fistulosa, Butomus umbellatus, Galium palustre, Carex riparia, Polygonum amphibium, Beckmannia eruciformis, Alisma plantago, Rorippa amphibia, Carex vulpina, Carex elata, Galium elongatum, Peucedanum palustre, Carex pseudocyperus, Carex gracilis, Senecio paludosa, Euphorbia palustris, Typhoides arundinacea, Poa palustris, Equisetum limosum, Gratiola officinalis, Lysimachia vulgaris, Cicuta virosa, Scirpus silvaticus, Juncus glaucus.
Molinio Arrhenatheretea grasslands are predominantly situated in lowland with fresh to wet soils, used as meadows or pastures. This type is the most productive. The botanical composition includes: Dactylis glomerata, Ranunculus acris, Holcus lanatus, Cerasitum caespitosum, Festuca pratensis, Vicia cracca, Colchicum autumnale, Alopecurus pratensis, Lathyrus pratensis, Cirsium oleraceum, Festuca rubra, Lychnis flos cuculi, Potentilla reptans Ranunculus repens, Bellis perennis, Carex nemorosa, Molinia coreulea, Arrhenatherum elatius, Deschampsia caespitosa, Phleum pratensis, Filipendula ulmaria, Scirpus silvaticus, Lotus uliginosus, Cardamine pratensis, Thalictrum lucidum, Sanguisorba officinalis, Lythrum salicaria, Thalictrum flavum, Valeriana officinalis, Angelica silvestris, Cirsium palustre, Succisa inflexa, Gratiola officinalis, Inula salicina, Centaurea jacea, Plantago lanceolata, Lysimachia nummularia, Poa trivialis, Peucedanum coriaceum ssp. Pospichalii, Trifolium pratense, Leotondon autumnalis, Lysimachia vulgaris, Bromus racemosus, Antoxanthum odoratum, Equisetum palustre, Leotondon hispidus, Festuca arundinacea, Prunella vulgaris, Alectrolophus maior, Briza media, Lolium perenne, Alectrolophus minor, Tragopogon orientalis, Cynosurus cristatus, Polygonum bistorta, Trifolium patens. Within this order, on areas with excessive water there are: Molinietum coeruleae Deschampsietum caespitosae, Cynosuretum cristati, Agrostideto-Cynosuretum cristati and Alopecureto-Festucetum pratensis, but also Arrhenatheretum elatioris, Violeto-Festucetum fallacies and Festuceto-Agrostidetum vulgaris on better soils.
Festuco-Brometea grasslands occupy more or less dry areas in hilly and mountain areas. As affected by many factors of climate and soil, these grasslands include a lot of grassland associations such as: Brometo-Plantaginetum mediae, Andropogonetum ischaemi, Danthonietum calycinae, Nardetum strictae, Agrostiodetum caninae, Potentillo aureae-Nardetum strictae, Seslerietum tenuifoliae, Caricetum laevis. Caricetum laevis-Helianthemum alpestre, Anthylleto-Seslerietum rigidae, Carex sempervirens- carex ferruginea, Festucetum pungentis, Hypochoereto Festucetum amethystinae, Seslerietum comosae-Gentiana punctata, Festucetum supinae, Festucetum Halleri- Geum montanum, Poetum violaceae, Potentilla aurea- Agrostis rupestris, Festucetum spadiceae, Festuca pseudoovina-Agrostis castellan, Danthonieto-Scorzoneretum villosae, Schorzonereto- Hypochoeretum masculatae. Within these, and also many other associations, the following species can be found: Festuca pseudovina, Bromus erectus, Koeleria pyramidata, Danthonia calycina, Molinia littoralis, Coronilla varia, Medicago minima, Orchis morio, Orchis ustulata, Orchis tridentata, Hippocrepis maculata, Scabiosa gramuntia, Centaurea angustifolia, Gentiana ciliata, Prunella laciniata, Spiranthes spiralis, Ophrys sphecodes, Linum flavum, Euphorbia verrucosa, Cirsium pannonicum. Plantago media, Globularia wilkommii, Linum viscosum, Stachys erecta, Carex humilis, Anthyllis vulneraria, Hippocrepis comosa, Salvia pratensis, Koeleria gracilis, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Sanguisorba minor, Anthericum ramosum, Asperula chinanchica, Potentilla opaca, Petroselinum oreoselinum, Trifolium montanum, Teucrium chamaedrys, Carum carvi, Trifolium alpestre, Medicago falcata, Medicago lupulina. Nardus stricta, Trisetum flavescens, Festuca ovina, Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia calycina, Sieglingia decumbens, Poa violacea, Festuca rubra, Carex pilulifera, Luzula campestris, Luzula multiflora, Genista sagittalis, Lotus corniculatus, Trifolium repens, Stachys officinalis, Geum montanum, Hieracium pilosella, Leotondon hastilis, Antennaria dioica, Achillea millefolium, Hypochoeris comosa, Potentilla aurea. Seseleria tenuifolia, Festuca Panćićiana, Carex laevis, Dryas octopetala, Edraianthus graminifolius, Pedicularis oederi, Oxytropis dinarica, Euphrasia salisburgensis, Silene acaulis f. balcanica, Dianthus pindicola, Aster alpinus f. dolomiticus, Saxifraga porophylla, Scabiosa silenifolia, Veronica saturoides, Gentiana clusii, Pedicularis verticillata, Leontopodium alpinum, Ranunculus hybridus, Androsace villosa, Anthyllis jacquinii, Arctostaphyllos uva ursi, Thesium parnassi, Silene saxifraga. Festuca pungens, Linum capitates, Scabies leucophylla, Scorzonera villosa, Silene sendteri, Helianthemum obscurum, Stachys jacquinii, Gentiana symphyandra, Chrysanthemum heterophyllum, Asperula longifolora. Thymus balcanicus, Calamintha alpina, Anthyllis alpestris, Crepis montana, Iberis sempervirens, Chrysanthemum montanum, Hypochoeris illyrica, Campanula glomerata, Minuratia verna, Dianthus croaticus, Pedicularis brachydonta, Lilium bosniacum, Nigritella nigra, Solidago alpestris, Gymnadenia conopea, Koeleria cristata, Gentiana tergestina, Globularia bellidifolia, Carex laevis, Scabiosa silenifolia, Onobrychis scardica, Campanula eliptica, Carex curvula, Luzula campestris, Luzula spicata, Genista depressa, Juncus trifidus, Deschampsia flexuosa, Festuca supina, Gentiana punctata, Antennaria dioica, Potentilla ternata, Geum montanum, Jasione orbiculata. Chrysopogon gryllus, Festuca valesiaca, Koeleria splendens, Plantago holosteum, Thesium divaricatum, Bupleurum veronense, Gentiana weldeniana, Medicago falcata, Prunella laciniata, Chrysanthemum liburnicum, Salvia pratensis, Linum tenuifolium, Linum gallicum, Hippocrepis comosa, Carex glauca, Sanguisorba muricata, Dianthus tergestinus, Plantago carinata, Genista silvestris, Centaurea rupestris, Teucrium montanum, Satureia subspicata, Satureia montana, Stipa mediterranea.
Livestock production is stressed in all national strategies, with forage production of high importance in developing the sector; opportunities for improvement of pasture resources are considerable.
True meadows are still managed to produce hay which is cut in late June to July, sometimes later when plants are in the flowering stage or often at seed set. Pastures are used for continuous sheep grazing. Poor yields are followed by poor quality. All because, first of all the previous state of agriculture, but also poor breeds and small and fragmented farms. There was no need for better quality forage; anything was good enough for poor stock and neglected agriculture.
In recent years farms are improving, milk and meat production are rising and the number of market oriented farmers is increasing. There is reason to improve forage production and quality, both on arable land and grasslands.
Improvement of forage production on arable land may include:
Improvement of forage production on grasslands should include:
The big problem is lack of a joint state-level ministry of agriculture. Then there is an open market which makes domestic production uncompetitive. Insufficient budget for support measures is one of the traits for further development of the ruminant sector. Last but not least state support to agriculture is declared rather than real.
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