Country Pasture Forage Resource Profiles
 
Republic of Serbia

By

Milorad Stosic and Dragi Lazarevic


 

1. INTRODUCTION
Agricultural land

2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
Topography
Soils

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
Climate
Temperature
Precipitation
Agro-ecological zones

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Cattle
Dairying
Beef production
Sheep and goats

5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
Forage research
Arable fodders
Grassland types
Grasslands - areas and distribution
Improvement of natural grasslands
Effect of fertilizer on botanical composition
Effect of fertilization on the yield
Sown grasslands
Choice of mixtures
Methods for establishing sown grasslands
Fertilization of sown grassland
Fodder crops
Seed production
Fodder conservation
Haymaking
Silage-making

6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES
Improving livestock and forage production
Cattle
Sheep
Goats
Improvement of forage production
Land areas and yields
Production technology

7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

8. REFERENCES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

9. CONTACTS


1. INTRODUCTION

The Republic of Serbia, in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, lies between 42015′ and 460 11′ N and 180 49′ and 230 01′ E. It borders Romania in the northeast, Bulgaria in the east, in the south with Macedonia, in the west with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and finally with Hungary in the north (see Figure 1a). Its total area is 77 474 km2.

Figure 1a. Map of Serbia

The population is 7 498 000 (7 379 339 is the July 2009 estimate according to the World Factbook , with a growth rate of minus 0.468%). The main administrative units are municipalities (165) and larger – districts (24). Central Serbia has 5 466 000 inhabitants with 2 032 000 in Vojvodina. Serbs comprise 83% of the population. Other nationalities, minorities and ethnic groups are Hungarians, Bosnians, Romany (Gypsy) and many others (more than 20) (see Figure 1b). Serbia comprised three provinces (Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija). From 2000 Kosovo has been under international control but declared its independence in 2008; this was not accepted by the United Nations but has been recognized by about fifty countries.

Figure 1b. Ethnic structure of Serbia

Slavs migrated to the Balkan Peninsula in the sixth and seventh centuries; warring tribes settled in the centre of the peninsula then, from the ninth to twelfth century united and created a state, Serbia, which was declared a kingdom in 1217. Serbs were first mentioned as a nation in a written document in 822; the first code of laws was passed in the fourteenth century by Tsar Dušan, when Serbia had its greatest extension. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, confrontations and wars started. In the battle on Kosovo Polje (1389) Serbia was defeated and in 1459 finally lost its independence. Armed resistance against the Turks was organized at the beginning of the nineteenth century (First Serbian Uprising in 1804 and the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815). After the Second Serbian Uprising Serbia received a vassal relationship with Turkey, then independence after the Berlin congress in 1878; it was declared a kingdom in 1882. After the First World War it was united with other South Slavic peoples in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians; in 1926 the name changed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the Second World War Yugoslavia became a communist country comprising six republics until 1990.

With changes in the socio-economic system and introduction of multi-party politics after 1990, the republics became independent states with the exception of Serbia and Montenegro which were the Union Republic of Yugoslavia until 2003 and Union Serbia and Montenegro until 2006. Monte Negro decided to separate from the Union and become independent and the Republic of Serbia was proclaimed.

Due to its geographical position and history, wars have often been fought on Serbian territory. In the past two centuries and for many past, the longest period at peace was from the end of the Second World War to the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - only 55 years. This has left marks on civilization and economical development so Serbia is, according to many criteria, in the lower part of the development scale, even though it had brilliant minds such as Mihajlo Pupin, Milutin Milanković or Nikola Tesla writer and Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić.

The largest rivers in Serbia are the Danube (588 km), Sava, Tisa, Velika Morava Zapadna Morava Juzna Morava, Ibar and Drina on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Agricultural land
The total agricultural land is 5 053 000 hectares; forests take 2 252 400 ha, so 94.3% of Serbia (total area 7 747 400 ha) is useful land. Agricultural land occupies 65.2% of total area in Serbia, whereas arable land occupies 65.3% of all agricultural land (see Figures 2a and 2b).

Figure 2a. Agricultural land as percentage  of all land in Serbia (after Markovic, 1993)
Figure 2b. Arable land as percentage of all land in Serbia (after Markovic, 1993)

[Note: these “out-of-date” maps include Kosovo which now has a separate Country Pasture Profile. These maps will be replaced when new maps for Serbia become available].

Farmland is being lost because of constructing roads and buildings, facilities, especially near large towns. Farmland is being abandoned; fields are left to tumble-down. Statistical data on land under sown grasslands are not kept regularly but, based on previous figures and the seed trade, it is estimated that today, they cover approximately 155 000 ha. The main share of the land goes to cereals, primarily maize and wheat (see Table 1). The area under maize is constant, but that under wheat is decreasing because of reduced profitability, lower wheat prices and lower yields, especially in Central Serbia. The area of industrial crops remains the same, but soybean is increasing to the detriment of sunflower. The area under forage crops is static, although the number of cattle is decreasing.

Table 1. Agricultural land use ‘000 hectares

 

2003

2005

2007

% in 2007

Total Agric. Land

5 079

5 074

5 053

100.0

Arable crops

3 345

3 330

3 299

65.3

Cereals

1 997

1 972

1 943

38.5

 Wheat

612

564

560

11.1

 Barley

110

105

94

1.9

 Maize

1 204

1 233

1 209

23.9

Industrial Crops

420

414

413

8.2

 Sugar beet

65

64

79

1.6

 Sunflower

220

199

155

3.1

 Soya

131

131

147

2.9

Vegetables

291

285

282

5.6

Fodder Crops

463

461

457

9.0

 Lucerne

198

192

186

3.7

 Clover

123

122

119

2.4

Orchards

246

239

240

4.7

Vineyards

67

64

59

1.2

Grassland

1 420

1 441

1 455

28.8

 Meadows

594

609

620

12.3

 Pastures

826

832

835

16.5

 Sown grasslands*

150

152

155

3.1

Total grassland**

1 570

1 593

1610

31.9

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008.

*Estimate, and also included under arable crops; ** Grassland plus sown grassland

The crops given in Table 2 occupy 80% of the arable land. They only reach 20 - 50 percent of their potential yields; this is a backward step compared to the nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties when intensifying agricultural production was through introduction of new cultivars and hybrids, higher use of mineral fertilizers and better protection against weeds, diseases and pests. The break-up of Yugoslavia, internal wars, and subsequently economic sanctions against Serbia, contributed to the decrease of agricultural production. Negative tendencies were certainly influenced by demographic changes.

Table 2. Average crop yields 2003 - 2007

Crop

Yield tonnes/ha

Wheat

3.4

Grain

Maize

4.6

Grain

Sugar beet

41.4

Root

Sunflower

2.0

Grain

Soya

2.4

Grain

Lucerne

5.4

DM

Red clover

4.0

DM

Fodder pea

3.6

DM

Vetch

3.4

DM

Forage beet

10.7

Root

Meadows

1.8

DM

Pastures

0,5

DM

Sown grassland

5.5

DM

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008

Farm size, structure and equipment of farming households
Until the Second World War and for a decade thereafter, Serbia was an agricultural country. The agricultural population in 1948 was 72.3%, in 1961 56%, in 1971 44%, in 1981 25%, in 1991 17%, and in 2002 it was 10.9%. The agricultural population in 1991 was 1 305 426, and in 2002 it was 817 052. In the same years, the active agricultural population was 940 127, and 529 236, respectively. Besides a drop in the agricultural population, the active agricultural population also fell. In 1971 72% of the agricultural population was active, in 2002 it was only 65%. These changes need not be undesirable; to attain high productivity the total and active agricultural population must decrease. A major cause of low productivity is small holding size and insufficient mechanisation. Today there are 779 000 private holdings with on average of 2.49 ha arable land. The structure of agricultural land ownership is illustrated by the graph below (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Agricultural holdings according to size

Most commercial enterprises and cooperatives are in Vojvodina, over half of them have between 50 and 2 500 hectares (Table 3). Every business is well mechanised, has expert service and organizes production on a high technological level, so yields are considerably higher than the Serbian average. Industrial crop production is concentrated there. In Vojvodina before political changes there were large state-owned agricultural holdings (agro-industrial companies with from 2 000 to 40 000 ha) and modern mechanization; there was high production and high productivity of labour. With privatisation holding size has been reduced but quite large farms remain under individual ownership.

Table 3. Number of enterprises and cooperatives by land area

   

Number

Under
50 ha

51-
100

101-
300

301-
500

501-
1 000

1 001-
2 500

2 501-
5 000

Over
5 000

 

Year

 

Enterprises

2003

568

58

36

55

32

55

103

59

21

 

2007

528

74

30

63

40

52

99

41

15

Cooperatives

2003

467

69

36

65

38

35

29

7

1

 

2007

305

59

33

58

30

25

18

8

1

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008

There have been many very unfavourable changes in Central Serbia: the agricultural population is falling constantly but the number of holdings is increasing; land is being abandoned and left uncultivated due to the inheritance law under which all children have equal rights, whether they are engaged in agriculture or not. Absentee landowners and so called aged households, whose number is constantly increasing, are common examples of this harmful situation. A positive tendency, although not common enough, is that young farmers now decide to engage permanently in farming, rent uncultivated areas or buy land and so increase their holdings. There is no well thought out policy on this nor strong support from government institutions. Since 2001 there are no data for numbers of tractors and implements (Table 4).

Table 4. Number of machines and implements (in ‘000)

Year

Tractors

Combines

Ploughs

Disc harrows

Seed drills and planters

1975

104

13

98

-

25

1985

299

-

300

-

95

1990

394

23

345

153

116

1995

418

24

365

164

117

2001

404

25

352

165

119

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008

 

Figure 4. Some Serbian landscapes and crops.
[Click to view full pictures]


2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY

Topography
Serbia has two clearly defined parts: the northern part is flat lowland whereas the central and southern part is mountainous. The northern province of Vojvodina covers 28% of the territory. Flat areas are part of the former Pannonian Sea with some of Serbia’s most fertile soils. In the centre and south flat land is usually near large rivers and around the Pannonian Sea. The altitude zone from 200 - 500 metres contains 57% of all land, the zone from 500 - 1 000 m 30%, and over 1 000 m 13%.

Distribution and height of mountains are as follows:
In the north of Serbia (province Vojvodina): Fruska gora – 539 m, Vrsacke planine – 641m. In the central part of Serbia Besna Kobila – 1 922m, Jastrebac – 1 492m, Kukavica – 1 442m, Deli Jovan – 1 141m, Rtanj – 1 570m, Suva Planina – 1 810m, Stara Planina – 2 169m, Kopaonik – 2 017m, Goc – 1 127m, Stolovi – 1 325m, Zeljin – 1 785m, Suvobor – 864m, Rudnik – 1 132m, Povlen – 1 346m, Maljen – 1 103 m.

Soils
Although Serbia is not large, soil diversity is very marked. Types were formed on rocks of different mineral composition at altitudes from 100 - 2 000 metres with different slopes and aspects. Therefore their physical and chemical characteristics are very diverse and soils can be distinguished from their earliest development stages to fully formed and from deep, fertile soils to shallow ones which are inhospitable for plant life. The most important types are reviewed with their special presence and major characteristics (after Dugalic and Gajić, 2002) – see Figure 5.

Lithosols Present in hilly mountainous regions on rocky substrates on slopes. These are very shallow soils low on humus, formed on acid and base rocks. They are not used in agricultural production, covered with bushes and tufts of grasses.

Regosols Found in hilly regions on approximately 50 000 ha. These are undeveloped soils, their mechanical composition is sandy, clay soils. They have a humus content of less than 15, low N and P. On this type of soil orchards and vineyards are established and a part is afforested.

Colluvium Present in South Serbia on approximately 200 000 ha. Has a high share of skeletal material. Humus and nutrient contents are low. Used for orchards and vineyards, also for afforestation.

Arensol Found in North Serbia (Vojvodina) on approximately 88 000 ha. Contain over 90% of fine sand, so the humus content is very low, as well as the N and P content. The most famous are Deliblatska and Subotička sandy soils which have been stabilized by afforestation and are now agricultural land.

Calcomelanosol This type is formed in the western, central and eastern zones of Central Serbia, on approximately 200 000 ha. It is formed most often on limestone, rarely on dolomite, above 900 m. These are shallow soils, rich in humus at 20% on which forest vegetation is well developed as well as steppe grassland. As arable land it is used for cereals, potatoes and sown grasslands.

Rendzina Formed on tertiary terraces in central Serbia above 700m, they cover close to 100 000 ha. Mechanical composition: sandy, clay depending on the main rock. Humus content 5 - 10% on lower and up to 20% on higher terrain. Reaction is neutral, saturation with Ca and Mg high. Used for all types of agricultur al production.

Rankers Present in mountainous areas on approximately 500 000 ha. These are shallow skeletal soils (20-40cm). Depending on the level of development two subtypes were formed: eutric on serpentine used in arable farming, mainly for potatoes and dystric with mainly forestry.

Vertisol Present on about 500 000 ha in central Serbia. Formed in a band from 200 - 600 m above sea level under deciduous forest, mainly oak and grass associations. This is potentially fertile soil with a humic horizon of 50-100 cm. It contains 3 - 5% of humus. Field water capacity is very high, and air capacity low. It is very well provided with N and K, poor in P. It is used for field crop production.

Chernozem It is mainly present in Vojvodina, on approximately 1 000 000 hectares. The main substrate is loëss. Soil is formed on river terraces at 70-75 m of altitude, on loëss terraces at an altitude of 75-90 m and loëss plateaus of 90-120 m altitude. The humus-accumulation horizon is over 50 cm. Humus content on plough land is 3.5-5%, and on meadows up to 8%. It has very favourable physical traits. It contains 0.2-0.3% N, and content of K and P is good to high. This is the most fertile soil in Serbia and it is used for all types of field crop production, but there are also orchards and vineyards established on this soil type.

Eutric cambisol Formed on flat terrains or mild slopes at 100 - 500 m above sea level in Central Serbia on approximately 650 000 ha. These are areas of combined deciduous forests (primarily oak and beech with conifers at higher altitudes). They are categorized as heavy soils (hard clay soil or light clayey soil). It is subject to leaching and erosion. Reaction is mild acid, the content of total N and K is medium to good, and content of P is low. Used for all field crops, orchards and vineyards.

Distric cambisol One of the most widespread soils in Serbia on land above 400 metres. It is formed in humid climates (over 1 000 mm) where mean annual temperature is 4 - 80C. Natural vegetation is a mixture of deciduous and coniferous forests. Depth is 30 - 80 cm and more. Mechanical composition is sandy-clay; therefore this soil is water permeable and well aerated. In lower areas it contains up to 5% of humus, and in higher 5 - 10, and in the zone of beech and conifers 10 - 20%. At lower altitudes it is used for field crops and vineyards, and at higher altitudes is under mixed deciduous forest (primarily Quercus up to 700 m a.s.l., Fagus from 700 to 1 500 m) and conifers above 1 500 m.

Calcocambisol This is formed in mountain regions of western and eastern Serbia where the main rock is limestone or dolomite. The humus-accumulation horizon is shallow (around 15 cm) so that rock appears on the surface. Humus content in fields is 2 - 3%, and with increasing altitude it reaches 10 - 20% on forest terrain. It has a good content of N and K, but low P. Reaction is acid and the pH is 4 5-5 5. High Al ion content blocks P. Mainly used for forests and pastures; on lower land it is used for growing cereals and potatoes.

Terra Rossa This soil is not common and is found mainly in eastern Serbia. It is mainly clay. Humus-accumulation horizon is 10 - 20 cm with 2 - 3% humus. Water capacity is low, and pH around neutral. In the exchange complex cations Ca and Mg predominate. It is used for field crops and on smaller areas, xerophilous pastures.

Luvisol This type of soil is present in western Serbia where precipitation is over 700 mm, mean annual temperature is 8 - 110C and where natural vegetation is deciduous forest. With loëss sub types of smonitsa and brown forest soil they occupy around 400 000 ha. These are acid soils and poor in nutrients. On lower flat terrain they are used for field crops and fruit (primarily plum and raspberry). On slopes there are pastures.

Podzol It is present on small surfaces in mountain areas (over 1 000 mm of precipitation and annual temperature of 4 - 60C). Natural vegetation is conifer forests and Vaccinium myrtillis. Soil is very acid (pH 3.5 - 4.5), low in cation absorption capacity and with low base saturation. Humus is slowly mineralised so availability of N is low, there is less P and it is bonded to Fe and Al. This is primarily forest soil.

Fluvisol Poor developed soil on young recent sediments. It is present on approximately 580 000 ha, mainly in large river valleys. It is of variable mechanical composition: from sandy to clay. Humus content is 1-2%, rarely 3-4%. K content is medium and P is poor. It is used for field crops, especially vegetables near large cities.

Humofluvisol Present near large rivers. Ground water is at 1 - 2 m. Mechanical composition is medium heavy and has favourable water-physical traits. These are very fertile soils.

Pseudogley This is one of the commonest soils on the lower land in Serbia, and it covers approximately 500 000 ha. It is formed on flat terrain and has poor water and air regimes. This soil is of acid reaction, humus content is 2-3%, and it is poor in P. It is used for field crops.

Humogley Present in the eastern part of Vojvodina and in valleys of larger rivers on approximately 370 000 ha. Natural vegetation on these terrains is hydrophilic meadow associations and broad-leaf trees (willow and poplar). Mechanical composition is heavy (clayey) with unfavourable water and air traits. Humus content is 3-6%, it has high adsorption capacity and high level of base saturation, especially Ca. Used for field crops.

Solonchak Present in Vojvodina, on river and loëss terraces on approximately 20 000 ha. Mechanical composition varies from sandy to clay. Humus content is 1 - 2%, pH 7 – 11 and the content of easily soluble salts 1 - 4%. Low content of nutrients.

Solonetz Covers approximately 115 000 ha in Vojvodina. Contains 0.15-0.25% of salts. Production value is low. On these soils grassy vegetation is present.

Figure 5. Soil map of Serbia* (after Markovic, 1993)
[Click to view full map]

*As Montenegro and Kosovo now have separate profiles, this map will be adjusted when the new soil map for Serbia becomes available.

Figure 6. Serbian soil profiles
Soil profile from the lowlands
Typical soil profile from the hilly region
A mountain region soil profile
[Click to view full pictures]

3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

Climate
Serbia has a temperate-continental climate with local variations. Spatial distribution of climate parameters is determined by geographic position, relief and local effects, as the result of the combination of relief, distribution of air pressure, exposition of terrain, presence of river systems, vegetation, city planning, etc. Geographic parameters characterizing important synoptic situations relating to weather and climate include the following: the Alps, Mediterranean Sea and Genoa bay, Pannonian lowland and Morava river valley, also Carpathian Mountains and Rhodopian Mountains, as well as hilly-mountainous part with valleys and high lands. The prevailing position of river valleys and the flat part in the north of the country enable deep penetration of polar air masses to the south.

Temperature (Table 5)
Serbia’s temperature regime is primarily controlled by solar radiation, geographical position and relief. Depending on relief and aspect there are local climates. Most of Serbia is temperate; the southwest is on the border of the Mediterranean sub-tropical and continental climates.

Average annual air temperature up to 300 m above sea level is 10.9 oC and from 300 m to 500 m 10.0 oC. Above 1 000 metres mean annual temperatures are approx. 6.0 oC and over 15 00 m approximately 3 oC. Autumn is warmer than spring. The coldest month is January with mean temperatures from -6 oC in mountain regions to approx. 0 oC in the lowlands. The highest mean January temperature of 0.4 oC is recorded in Belgrade because of urban influences; areas up to 300 m have mean January temperatures of -1 to 0 oC; the area of Timok Krajina and certain river valleys have mean January temperatures up to -3 oC. Areas at 300 m to 500 m have January temperatures from -3 to -1 oC, and over 1 000 m from -6 to -3 oC.

July is the warmest month with mean temperatures between 11 to 22 oC. Areas to 300 m have mean monthly temperatures between 20 to 22 oC, as well as some places in south Serbia at 400 m to 500 m. Above 1000 m the mean monthly temperatures are between 11 to 16 oC.

The lowest temperatures in the period from 1961 to 1990 were recorded in January and vary from -35.6 oC (Sjenica) to -21.0 oC (Belgrade). Absolute maximum temperatures in that period were recorded in July and vary from 37.1 to 42.3 oC.

Table 5 Monthly and yearly average temperatures in oC (1961-1990)

Places

alt.

N. lat.

E long.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Palic

102

46006

19046

-1.6

1.1

5.6

11.1

16.3

19.4

21

20.2

16.5

11

5.2

0.7

10.5

Novi Sad

84

45020

19051

-1

1.5

6

11.4

16.6

19.6

21.1

20.6

16.9

11.5

5.9

1.2

10.9

Beograd

132

44048

20028

0.4

2.8

7.2

12.4

17.2

20.1

21.8

21.4

17.7

12.5

7

2.3

11.9

Kragujevac

185

44002

20056

-0.1

2.2

6.3

11.3

16.1

19

20.6

20.2

16.7

11.4

6.4

1.8

11

Nis

202

43020

21054

-0.2

2.5

6.7

11.9

16.6

19.5

21.3

21.1

17.2

11.9

6.4

1.7

11.4

Vranje

432

42033

21025

-0.7

2

6.1

11

15.6

18.6

20.7

20.6

16.9

11.6

5.9

1

10.8

Zajecar

144

43053

22018

-1.4

0.8

5.1

11.1

16

19.2

20.9

20.4

16.4

10.4

5.2

0.8

10.4

Loznica

121

44033

19014

-0.2

2.3

6.5

11.4

16.1

19.2

20.7

20.1

16.5

11.3

6.2

11.8

11

Zlatibor

1028

43044

19043

-3.3

-1.5

2

6.6

11.5

14.4

16.3

16.3

13.1

8.4

3.2

-1.5

7.1

Sjenica

1038

43017

20000

-5

-2.7

1.3

6.1

10.9

13.7

15.3

15

11.7

7

2.3

-2.6

6.1

Kopaonik

1710

43017

20048

-5.6

-5.5

-3.2

1.2

6.4

9

11.3

11.4

8.2

4.1

-0.7

-3.9

2.7

Crni Vrh

1037

44007

21057

-4.2

-3

1

6.4

11.5

14.1

16

15.8

12.6

7.3

1.8

-2.3

6.4

Republic Hydro meteorological Service of Serbia

Precipitation (Table 6)
Considering the atmosphere processes and relief characteristics, precipitation is unevenly distributed in time and space. The normal annual mean precipitation for the country is 896 mm. Annual precipitation on average increases with altitude. Most areas with precipitation below 600 mm are in the northeast and in the valley of the Morava river. Podunavlje, the valley of Velika Morava and its continuance to Vranje and Dimitrovgrad have 650 mm. Further east, in the area of the Homolje mountains, annual precipitation reaches 800 mm. Similarly in the mountainous regions of southeast Serbia. A more compact region towards the West and Southwest has the highest precipitation. Towards the Pešter highlands and Kopaonik, values increase up to 1 000 mm and some mountain peaks in the southwest receive over 1 000 mm.

Most of Serbia has a continental precipitation regime with higher falls during the warmer half of the year. Most rain falls in June and May. In June there is 12 to 13 % of the annual precipitation. The lowest precipitation is in February and October when on average 5 to 6% of the annual precipitation occurs.

The area of Southwest Serbia, because of relief, slopes of high mountain massifs and the effect of the Mediterranean, has a Mediterranean precipitation regime with maxima in November, December and January and minima in August.

Incidence of snow cover is characteristic between November and March and sometimes in April and October, whereas on mountains above 1 000 m snow can be present in other months. January has the most days with snow cover - with 30 to 40% of days.

Extremes of precipitation from the beginning of recording to present time: the driest year was 2000, when only 223.1 mm of precipitation was measured in Kikinda. The year with highest precipitation was 1937 when 1 324.5 mm was recorded in Loznica. The highest monthly precipitation amount was recorded in June 1954 in Sremska Mitrovica, 308.9 mm. The highest daily precipitation amount was recorded on October 10, 1955 in Negotin, 211.1 mm.

Table 6. Monthly and yearly sum of precipitation in mm.(1961-1990)

     

Month

         

Place

                       

Total

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Year

Palic

35.5

31.3

33.7

42.7

55

73.9

56.7

54

36.4

27.7

46.3

46

539.2

Novi Sad

37.8

34.8

40.7

46.8

56.9

82.5

61.2

55.3

35.9

34.8

45.9

44.2

576.8

Beograd

49.3

44.4

49.5

58.8

70.7

90.4

66.5

51.2

51.4

40.3

54.3

57.5

684.3

Kragujevac

41.1

38.7

44.4

49.4

73.8

84.7

68

53.3

44.8

38.2

48.2

47.6

632.2

Nis

41.3

40.3

45.3

51.3

66.7

69.7

43.6

43.3

43.6

34.1

56.8

53.6

589.6

Vranje

41.4

43.4

46

51.7

65

70.9

50.4

38.7

45.4

46.2

62.9

52

614

Zajecar

39.8

44

48.1

55.3

71.7

71.2

55.1

37.2

37.8

40.8

58

51.5

610.5

Loznica

51

49.2

57.7

70

82.7

99.5

84.4

76.3

61.9

53.7

70.3

63.6

820.3

Zlatibotr

68

60.8

64

76.8

100

110

96

78.3

83.4

66.6

85.4

75

964.3

Sjenic

49.7

38.2

38.6

48.7

73.9

85.2

68.5

67.3

59.9

57.2

71.5

53.9

712.6

Kopaonik

62

58.7

64.8

74.7

108.8

124.7

92.1

94.3

66.7

46.2

68.9

58.9

920.8

Crni Vrh

42.6

46.3

52.2

63.5

104.6

121.9

90.2

64.3

63

53.3

58.4

49.8

810.1

Republic Hydro meteorological Service of Serbia

Agro-ecological zones
Geographical position, relief, altitude, exposure, direction of mountain massifs, atmospheric circulation, precipitation and proximity of sea cause great climatic differences in certain regions of Serbia, therefore, several territorial regions or climatic areas can be distinguished.

Although there are no significant climatic differences on the territory of Vojvodina, certain specific areas can be pointed out:

  • North Banat and southeast part of Bačka – the highest annual range (over 23oC) and the lowest average amount of precipitation (below 600 mm).
  • South and southeast region of Banat – precipitation over 600 mm, lower amplitude, strong south-southeast wind - Košava.
  • Bačka – the highest precipitation amount (600-700 mm), the highest number of days with precipitation and fog.
  • Srem with Fruška Gora Mountain – less cloudy, temperatures and precipitation similar to those in Bačka.

On the territory of Central Serbia, due to greater diversity of relief, there are several distinct climatic areas:

  • Krajina area – includes the Timok basin and Negotin-Krajina region. Distinct continental climate, average annual temperature (25 oC) and absolute range (68.1 oC), with frequent presence of anticyclonic conditions (especially in winter).
  • Đerdap area – a strip along the Danube in the Đerdap gorge. In relation to areas east and west of it the Đerdap gorge is characterized by: high air humidity, relatively low summer and high winter temperatures and higher annual precipitation.
  • Carpathian-Balkan climatic area –between Đerdap and Stara Planina Mountain on the Bulgarian border. Higher precipitation (800-1 000 mm), thicker and long-lasting snow cover compared to regions to the east and west of it.
  • Vlasina climatic area – includes Rodhopi mountain massif between the valley of the river Nišava in the north, river South Morava in the west, Bulgarian border in the east and Macedonia in the south. Compared to the Carpathian-Balkan area there is somewhat lower precipitation, winters are more severe and last longer and summers are cooler.
  • Climatic area of Great Morava River –along its course ‑ is less continental Krajina, winters and summers are milder, growing period longer, higher precipitation and shorter duration of snow cover.
  • Climatic area of South Morava River –along the course the South Morava, including the valley of Toplica, Dobrička valley and Bela Palanka valley. The lowest precipitation in Serbia, mild winters, shorter duration of snow cover and very hot summers.
  • Šumadija area –between the valley of river Great Morava in the east, river West Morava in the south and Kolubara in the west. Typical moderate-continental climate with four distinct seasons.
  • Climatic area of West Morava River – valley of the river West Morava with ravines, starting with Užice valley in the west to Kruševac valley in the east has somewhat higher and more evenly distributed precipitation than Šumadija.
  • Kopaonik climatic area –between the valley of river West Morava in the north, river South Morava in the east and river Ibar in the west. Sub-alpine climate (Goč, Željin) gradually turning into alpine (Kopaonik) with the coldest and longest winters (negative monthly temperatures from December to April) and the lowest annual temperature (3.7oC) and range (18.0oC).
  • Kolubara-Mačva area – river basin of Kolubara, Mačva region and the lowest part of Drina River. Average annual temperatures are between 10 and 11oC and precipitation 600-800mm, low cloud cover and somewhat higher relative air humidity compared to Šumadija and Pomoravlje.
  • Valjevo-Podrinje area – the greatest part of West Serbia south of Kolubara-Mačva. Typical climate of low and medium altitudes with temperatures from 7 - 10oC and precipitation 800-1 000 mm.
  • Southwest mountain area –between river Ibar in the east and rivers West Morava and Ćetinja in the north and border of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south and west has the highest precipitation, cloudiness, the longest duration of snow cover and shortest growing period. There are vast highlands– Pešter - with a specific climate; long, cold winters, frequent temperature inversions and low precipitation.

4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Serbian agriculture, especially in the previous period, was important for the economy in general in which livestock had a decisive role. In the twentieth century Serbia was a great exporter of pigs, especially to Austria, and since the nineteen-sixties was an important exporter of young beef to Greece, Italy, UK and the Near East. The unfavourable historical events at the end of the twentieth century, civil war, and change of political system and transition difficulties have influenced the worsening of the overall economic situation. Numbers of livestock and poultry are shown in Table 7.

Table 7. Number of livestock and poultry (in ‘000)

Species

1965

1975

1985

2000

2005

2007

Cattle

Cows

1 861

865

2 264

1 184

1 845

1 029

1 246

817

1 079

720

1 087

648

Sheep

Ewes

3 454

2487

2 745

1 986

2 237

1657

1 611

1 233

1 576

1 169

1 606

1 192

Goats

     

183

152

149

Horses

389

290

95

37

25

18

Pigs

Sows

4 280

699

4 626

930

5 000

878

4 066

887

3 465

654

3 832

550

Poultry

14 441

22577

22 424

20 373

16 631

16 422

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008

Cattle
Domestic Spotted cattle of the Simmental type are dominant; in Vojvodina, near large cities and on state farms there are Holstein-Friesians, and there are many crossbreds between Domestic Spotted and Busha, Domestic Spotted and Holstein Friesian, Domestic Spotted and Montbeliard and other crossbreds (Lazarevic, 2003).

Cattle numbers are decreasing. In 1975 there were 2 264 000 head, with 1 184 000 cows and pregnant heifers. In 2007 the number of cattle was 1 087 000 with 648 000 cows and pregnant heifers. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT cattle numbers in Serbia in 2007 were 1 106 000 head with 674 465 cows].

Dairying
Total milk production is decreasing gradually while milk production per cow is increasing but is still low compared to developed countries. Increase in milk production per cow is due to changes in breed structure, artificial insemination, better nutrition and health protection. Limited purchasing of milk by dairies has a negative effect on production. Of all milk produced 50 - 60% is purchased by dairies and the remainder is processed domestically, primarily as cheese. Milk prices do not encourage producers since they get under €0.2 per litre.

A major cause of low milk production is poor nutrition. Hay, a main component of the diet, is of poor quality, few cows graze and silage is made by few producers. The concentrate part of the diet is simple and consists of energy feeds, primarily cracked maize. Even with such poor nutrition the feed is 65-70% of the cost of milk production i. e. each litre of milk is burdened by €.0.13-0.14. If the producer has only € 0.06-0.07 per litre to meet all other costs, dairy production is unattractive. In the past decade, however, there have been some positive, spontaneous changes which are not part of a well considered and developed agrarian policy of the government. Young farmers, dedicated to long term involvement in dairying, are expanding their holdings or getting new ones with more cattle, 20 to 50, or even more. They buy high quality stock, often from Austria and Germany; they buy equipment with full mechanization and build modern and rational facilities. Production of milk on such farms exceeded 4 000 litres per cow and the share of food cost in the price of milk is 50-55%. Total production of cows’ milk and production in litres per cow is shown in Table 8. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT total milk production in Serbia in 2007 was 1 700 000 tonnes].

Table 8. Production of cows’ milk

Year

Million litres

Litres per cow

1990

1 956

1 713

2000

1 760

1 995

2003

1 576

2 345

2004

1 579

2 427

2005

1 602

2 568

2006

1 587

2 645

2007

1 549

2 663

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia, 2008

Beef production
Production of beef and baby beef fell from 165 000 tonnes in 1990 to 99 000 tonnes in 2000, to 90 000 in 2005 and to 80 000 in 2008 due to the decreasing cattle numbers. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT beef production in Serbia was 80 000 tonnes in 2007]

Meat yield per head fell from 150 kg in 1990 to 125 in 2005 because cattle are slaughtered below 500 kg body weight; even calves of 100 - 200 kg are slaughtered. Beef exports in the nineteen-eighties and nineteen-nineties were 40 000 tonnes but have fallen to 2 000 - 3000 tonnes.

Sheep and goats
The situation of sheep rearing is unsatisfactory considering the favourable conditions for sheep. Sheep numbers are decreasing in the public sector while sheep farms in private ownership and the size of their flocks are increasing. The number of sheep in 1975 was 2 745 000, in 2000 1 611 000, in 2005 1 576 000 head and in 2007 some 1 606 000. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT sheep numbers in Serbia in 2007 were: 1 555 864 head]. Lately the number of sheep of high productive breeds has increased and they are raised more intensively. Farmers’ interest in more productive breeds is growing and more and more young people are interested in sheep. Production of sheep meat is about 20 000 tonnes [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT sheep meat production in Serbia was 20 000 tonnes in 2007].

The protein and fat content of sheep milk are better than cows' milk and it is more suitable for processing; ovine dairy products are in high demand and command good prices. There is a problem of low milk yield of sheep; there are no selected dairy breeds. There is no market for wool due to cheap, high-quality supplies from New Zealand and Australia. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT production of (greasy) wool in Serbia in 2007 was 2 500 tonnes].

The dominant breed is the primitive Pramenka. In some regions like Sjenica, this breed has been improved by crossing with Württemberg, or, as second important strain, Pramenka crossed with Bardocca, characterized with somewhat higher milk yield. The second most important breed is a transitional one – Tsigai sheep, mainly kept in Vojvodina and the third with the smallest population, Pirot improved sheep.

Goat raising has no great economical importance because of their small numbers 183 000 in 2000, 152 000 in 2005 and 149 000 in 2007. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT goat numbers in Serbia in 2007 were: 162 000 head].

Goat milk and dairy products are in high demand as is meat, especially kid; a third product is skin/hide. The Balkan goat is predominant and is kept at both low and high altitudes; the Domestic Saanen is a poor milker (150 - 500 litres per goat annually). There are smaller numbers of Alpine and Saanen with milk yields of 800 - 1 000 kg. Goat numbers are decreasing on state farms but increasing on private ones. On private farms 5 to 10 goats are kept, a few have between 50 and 200 head. [According to the FAO database FAOSTAT goat meat production in Serbia was estimated at 550 tonnes in 2007. No data were available for goat milk production].


5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE

Forage research
Organized, systematic studies began in Serbia in the nineteen-fifties and intensified during the nineteen-sixties, which were characterized by strong economic development. Early work was at the Faculty of Agriculture in Zemun, later by the newly formed Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, Institute for Animal Husbandry, Zemun-Belgrade, Institute or Centre for Aricultural and Technological Research in Zaječar. Special contribution to development of science and improvement of production has been from the only specialized research institution in Serbia – Institute of Forage Crops in Kruševac which was founded in 1959 with an Experimental Crop Field Station (specializing in forage crops) in Kruševac; it took over the site of the Experimental Station for breeding and production of plants which was founded in 1932. The greatest concentration of experts is in the Institute of Forage Crops. Investigations into the improvement of grasslands and production of roughages on arable over 50 years have covered the most important aspects. Most projects are financed by the Ministry of Science.

Selection of forage crops Breeding for significant and reliable increase of yields and improvement of the quality of livestock feeds were main themes from the onset of research. Most attention was directed to perennial legumes (see Table 9), especially alfalfa (Medicago sativa) the most important forage. So far, 24 domestic cultivars of alfalfa have been bred and recognized, selected in Novi Sad, Kruševac, Zaječar and Aleksinac. They all show great potential for high yield of dry matter (20 tha-1), adaptability to local conditions and therefore, good persistence and high crude protein content (22.9% in dry matter). Various breeding methods have been used: mass and individual selection, polycross, creation of hybrids based on crossing of Medicago sativa and Medicago falcata; inbreeding was studied and used, multiple crossed S1 lines, synthetic cultivars created, etc. (Đukić et al., 2007).

Ten cultivars of red clover have been bred and recognized, as the second important perennial legume; standard breeding methods have been used and in the second phase induced polyploidy was used and the first tetraploid cultivar KŠ-27 tetra acknowledged. Yields of 12.3 tha-1 of dry matter have been registered with crude protein content of 21%.

Bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) has come into use in Serbia because alfalfa does not thrive on acid soils and red clover is short-lived. It gained “citizen’s rights” to be grown in pure stand on more acid, dry or sandy soils and has become a frequent component in mixtures with perennial grasses, although its ability to compete is rather low. So far five cultivars have been bred, created by individual selection in Kruševac and Zaječar. In cultivar trials a yield of 15.1 tha-1 of dry matter with 21% of crude protein has been established.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is not grown in pure stand. It is used in pastures in mountain regions and for green parkland. In Kruševac a cultivar was bred which yields 9.9 tha-1 of dry matter with an average crude protein content of 18.6% (Krstić and Lugić, 1996).

For a short time during the nineteen-nineties there was some work on goat’s rue, Galega officinalis, and one cultivar was bred. But, despite some positive characteristics, this species has no future in Serbia.

Although grown on a smaller area, annual legumes are very important for more complete utilization of soil, improvement of its fertility, and provision of higher quality forage over a longer period, since they are mainly follow-on crops, catch crops and winter crops and are used in all forms: green mass, hay, silage, haylage. The most important are fodder peas (Pisum) winter and spring vetches (Vicia spp.): broad beans (Vicia faba) and lupin (Lupinus sp.) are occasionally used and soybean is sown in mixtures with sorghum or Sudan grass. So far, 10 cultivars of fodder peas and 11 cultivars of vetches, winter and spring, have been bred (Table 9). They all are characterized by high yield potential and quality (Mihajlović et al., 2007). All these cultivars originate from the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops from Novi Sad, except one cultivar of vetches from the Institute of Forage Crops in Kruševac.

Table 9. Cultivars of forage species created in Serbia until 2008

Family/Species

Number of cultivars

Perennial legumes

43

Medicago sativa

24

Trifolium pratense

10

Lotus corniculatus

5

Trifolium repens

1

Onobrychis sativa

2

Galega officinalis

1

Annual legumes

23

Pisum arvense

10

Vicia spp. sativa, villosa, panonica

11

Vicia faba

2

Other

12

Sorghum bicolor

7

Sorghum sudanense

3

Brassica oleracea

1

Fodder beet

1

www.sorte.minpolj.sr.gov.yu

Annuals, such as sorghum and Sudan grass are very important in assuring of continuous supply of forage, especially for dairy cows; they are grown as main, subsequent and/or catch crops and being multiple-cut crops, provide fresh forage over a long period. So far by mass and individual selection, 7 cultivars of fodder sorghum and 3 cultivars of Sudan grass have been created (Table 9), all in Novi Sad. Recently, there has been some work on investigation of combination abilities for the creation of an F1 hybrid (Mihajlović et al., 2007).

Fodder kales (fodder kale, rape, Tyfon-turnip – Brassica crops) are important for better utilization of soil and production of high quality feed, especially in early spring and late autumn. Structural changes in organization of agricultural production, the desire of livestock producers to have a uniform ration throughout the year with as few changes in the choice of feeds as possible, as well as simplification of the organization of production involving more forage crops and different forms of use, have diminished the importance of these forages. So far one cultivar of fodder kale has been created in Novi Sad.

Perennial grasses are indispensable in natural and sown grasslands. Polymorphism of these species and their large number enable them to be grown in all areas from flat lands and hilly regions to mountains above the tree line. Mass introduction of sown grasslands began in Serbia in the second half of the twentieth century when interest was very high and the selection of most of the species used as regular components in mixtures started. The Centre for breeding of perennial grasses is in the Institute of Forage Crops in Kruševac. So far, 17 cultivars have been produced, 14 in Kruševac, 1 in Novi Sad and 2 in Aleksandrovac. The main selection traits are green yield, competitiveness in mixtures, drought tolerance and resistance to some economically important diseases. Especially important is creation of cultivars with different maturation periods, to give more uniform distribution of production throughout the growing season.

For creation of new cultivars native populations or materials were used with determined variability. Methods of mass or recurrent selection have been applied as “powerful selection tool, designed for fast increase of frequency of desirable genes by preserving the genetic variability and minimizing the inbreeding within populations” (Tomić and Sokolović, 2007). By crossing (So) first synthetic generations were obtained (S1). Heterosis is used in intra species and intra genus (Lolium x Festuca) hybridization, but no commercial hybrids have yet been obtained. By induction of polyploidy the first tetraploid cultivars of Italian ryegrass have been produced in the Institute of Forage Crops. Recently, tissue culture has been used for creation of new cultivars. So far, 4 cultivars of cocksfoot have been created with established yields of dry matter of 6.5-11.6 tha-1, 2 cultivars of timothy (6.6-15.0), 2 of Italian ryegrass, one is tetraploid (10.4-15.5), one of meadow fescue, 2 of tall fescue (13.2-17.7), one of red fescue (to 10.6), 2 of French ryegrass (to 12.5), one of English ryegrass (6.5 t DM ha-1).

Numerous forage cultivars of major crops have been created but their distribution and presence in production is uneven. Domestic cultivars of alfalfa and red clover are dominant on arable land, as well as annual legumes. Imported cultivars predominate for perennial grasses used for mixtures, since production of grass seed in Serbia does not meet the demand.

Arable fodders

Perennial legumes.
Bulky livestock feed is grown on approximately 460 000 ha of arable land which is 9% of agricultural and 14% of the total arable area. This is a very low figure, since 20% of the arable area under fodder legumes is the lower limit. This is a consequence of too few livestock, especially large livestock. Perennial legumes cover two thirds of that area; in particular alfalfa (200 000 ha) and red clover (100 00 ha), but there are fluctuations in their production due to weather, problems in soil fertility maintenance and choice of suitable cultivars, fertilization problems and struggles with weeds and pests. Although alfalfa breeding is quite “conservative”, i.e. sources for the increase of yield potential are hard to find, cultivars created in Serbia have shown great advantages and contributions to considerable yield increase. Radović et al. (1996) confirm the importance of choice of cultivar and found great yield variability within domestic populations compared to selected cultivars. Katić et al. (1996) established over four years that yields of dry matter of cultivars were from 10.9 - 13.2 tha-1.

For successful alfalfa production the proper soil choice is of great importance; many Serbian soils are quite acid, even types which have not been so in the past; chernozem and smonitsa, for instance. Mijatović et al. (1988) confirmed that alfalfa yields differ significantly depending on the soil: on alluvium in average over four years 16.3 and on brown forest soil 10.4 tha-1were obtained. Interventions to reduce soil acidity, if properly done and with adequate choice of material are very effective. This is confirmed by Katić et al. (2007) when on soil of pH 4.79 in KCl a dry matter yield of 12.1 was obtained when 6 tonnes of lime were used, compared to 0.84 tha-1 in control. Stevović et al. (2004) found a positive effect of liming only during the first year and concluded that the quantity of lime applied was insufficient for a lasting effect.

Fertilization of alfalfa is a complex issue. How much, fertilizer ratio and fertilization time for alfalfa in Serbian conditions has yet to be established with some reliability, due to very heterogeneous soils in regard to acidity and presence of available nutrients. All previous results show that major fertilizer elements are important and that introduction of higher quantities of phosphorus prior to installation is of decisive significance for good crop condition during the utilization period. Therefore, complex fertilizers are recommended where the ratio of nutrients is 1:3:2 and amount of phosphorus (P2O5) at least 80-90 kgha-1. Results of fertilizer trials on established alfalfa, especially with nitrogen, have been inconclusive. Some researchers present positive yield responses to fertilization, others not, but overall fertilization had a positive effect although it was not marked (Glamočlija et al., 1996). Thanks to biological properties and a good root system, alfalfa is photosynthetically active during the whole vegetation period and provides multiple cuts.

Although it stands drought better than many other forages and other perennial legumes, especially red clover, it reacts positively to irrigation. In conditions of continuous soil humidity it can provide 5 - 7 cuts annually. Maksimović et al. (2007) found that at conditions of 60% of field capacity they obtained over a four year period on average 12.4 and without irrigation 11.8 tha-1 of dry matter. Comparing research with average annual yields it is obvious that only a third of alfalfa’s production potential is realised. There is an important role for both science and farm practice to increase yields and profitability of alfalfa.

Red clover, a traditional forage, lost its significance at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century with the introduction of high yielding wheat cultivars and maize hybrids grown with higher amounts of mineral fertilizers, but it remained in some areas on approximately 100 000 ha. Difficulties in finding a suitable place in the rotation arose when increased wheat density considerably reduced the possibility of under-sowing. But, thanks to its adaptation to more acid and shallower soils, especially in mountainous regions, it is grown on significant areas. The problem of its short life, beside attempts to breed cultivars which could be used for three years, is solved by introduction of bird’s-foot trefoil for which, unfortunately and unjustifiably, statistical records are not kept. Red clover has very low yields in the sowing year (2.5) and in the second and third year up to 15.5 tha-1 (Lugić et al. 1996). Problems of low first year yields should be solved by sowing of optimal densities of cereal, to enable under-sowing, or agro-technical measures, primarily fertilization. Red clover will remain an important component in mixtures for sown grasslands so it is necessary to continue to seek the most favourable combinations and to create cultivars with longer persistence and increased competition ability.

Technology for growing of bird’s-foot trefoil deserves more research attention and improvement of field technology, since it covers considerable areas on poorer soils. Radović et al. (2003) studying cultivars and populations established that dry matter productivity was 10.2 - 13.2 tha-1, which shows its high potential. Besides growing it as a pure stand it is a common component in mixtures. There is need to determine its proportion under various agro-ecological conditions and its ratio in mixtures with grasses since its competition ability is low.

Annual fodders – Annual forages have lost their former importance. High maize yields and modern maize growing technologies have suppressed other annuals. Simplification of the production process by reducing it to a few crops and avoiding more mechanization and use of energy, has contributed to such trends. Nutritionists avoid frequent changes of diet so producers are losing interest in other annual forages. But there is need for better organization of crop rotations and using the soil in a better and more complete way. This cannot be done without annual forages. Grown as main crop and even more so as an inter-crop (subsequent, catch and winter crops), they enable complete use of soil and provide continuous production of high quality livestock feed (Ćupina at al., 2007). All have high production potential, fast growth, very good or excellent quality and thanks to dense ground cover, they are excellent “weed cleaners”. All research in Serbian conditions confirmed that annual forages, in a very short time, give high yields in all production systems.

Ostojić et al. (1996) established that forage sorghum as a main crop used successively from the sixty-sixth to the hundred-and-eighth day after sowing gives 6.4 - 23.7 tha-1 of dry matter in the first, and 18.7 - 1.3 in the second cut, i.e. in a season it is possible to get 16.7 - 25.0 tha-1 of dry matter, which means that for 84 days there was continuous production of fresh, high quality forage. To improve quality, especially the crude protein content, mixtures with annual legumes are recommended (peas, vetches, broad beans, soybean, lupin). The same authors established that in the first cut it is possible to get 18.1 (mixture with broad beans) to 22.2 (mixture with soy bean) tha-1 of dry matter. In catch-cropping, it is important to choose a crop which provides good yields in a short time. The previous authors showed that mixture of Sudan grass with legumes gave higher yields than mixtures of maize with the same legumes, 15.3 - 17.2 and 6.5-10.8 tha-1 of dry matter, respectively. Berenji and Kišgeci (1988) established that sorghum yields (62.2) and Sudan grass yields (72.3) exceed maize significantly (37.8 tha-1 of green mass) grown as a catch crop. Terzić et al. (2007) concluded that by growing sorghum and fodder broad beans as catch crops the mixture gave higher yield by 13 - 16% compared to pure stands.

Grassland types
Investigations on the floristic composition of grasslands show that over 200 species are found within a very small area. Floristic research in Serbia is based on the Swiss-French school of Braun-Blanquet; some 273 grassland associations have been described in the second half of the twentieth century and the grassland vegetation of Serbia is systemised in 7 classes, 15 orders, 23 alliances and 48 associations with 106 sub associations (Kojic et al. 2004). Their sintaxonomic position is:

1. Class Phragmitetea communis Tx. et Prsg. 1942.

Includes marshy meadows

Order Magnocaricetalia Pignatti 1953.

Unites marshy vegetation of tall sedges, marshy grasslands, near rivers and canals, in lowland areas and valley, sub-mountain and mountain pasture associations.

Alliance Caricion gracilis-vulpinae Balat.-Tulač. 1963.

1. Ass. CARICETUM VULPINAE-RIPARIAE R.Jov. 1958.

2. Class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea Tx. 1937.

Includes hygro-mesophile meadow associations

Order Molinietalia coeruleae W.Koch. 1926.

Includes sub-continental hygrophile-hygrophilous meadow associations – on deep marsh soils outside the flooding zone

Alliance Molinion coeruleae W.Koch. 1926.

2. Ass. MOLINIETUM COERULEAE W.Koch. 1926. sensu lato

Order Trifolio-Hordeetalia H-ić 1963.

Unites valley meadow associations within the flooding zone, developed in narrow or wide river valleys predominantly on alluvial soil

Alliance Alopecurion pratensis serbicum Kojić et al. 2004.

3.      Ass. ALOPECURETUM PRATENSIS Kojić et al. 2004. sensu lato

Alliance Trifolio-Ranunculion pedati Slavnić (1942) 1948.

4.      Ass. POO-ALOPECURETUM PRATENSIS HALOPHYTICUM R. Vučk. 1982.

5.      Ass. TRIFOLIO ANGULATI-ALOPECURETUM PRATENSIS Parab. 1985.

6.      Ass. CYNOSURO CRISTATI-ALOPECURETUM PRATENSIS Parab. 1985.

Order Arrhenatheretalia elatioris Pawl. 1928.

Includes valley mesophile pasture and plant associations, on deep soil, rich on nutrients. Also present in sub-mountain and mountain region

 Alliance Arrenatherion elatioris (Br.-Bl. 1925) Koch. 1926.

7.      Ass. ARRHENATHERETUM ELATIORIS Kojić et al. 2004. (non Br.-Bl. 1925. sensu lato)

8.      Ass. SUNOSURETUM CRISTATI Kojić et al. 2004. sensu lato

Order Agrostetalia stoloniferae Oberd. 1967.

Unites mesophile grass plant associations that usually occupy river valleys

Alliance Agropyro-Rumicion Nordh. 1940.

9.      Ass. AGROPYRO REPENTIS-POETUM ANGUSTIFOLIAE Babić 1981.

10.  Ass. TRIFOLIO FRAGIFERI-AGROSTIETUM STOLONIFERAE Lj. Mark. 1973.

11.  Ass. JUNCO INFLEXI-MENTHETUM LONGIFOLIAE Lohm. 1953.

3. Class Festuco-Brometea Br.-Bl. et Tx. 1943.

Includes xerophile and semi-xerophile meadow, meadow-steppe and steppe plant associations and associations of Atlantic, continental, sub-continental, as well as sub-Mediterranean associations, on shallow and rocky terrain; also on somewhat deeper and more fertile soils

Order Brometalia erecti Br.-Bl. 1936.

Unites xerophile, xer-mesophile and even mesophile plant associations

Alliance Bromion erecti Br.-Bl. 1956.

12.  Ass. BROMETUM ERECTI Z. Pavl. 1955. s. l.

 Alliance Chrysopogoni-Danthonietum calycinae Kojić 1957.

13.  Ass. CHRYSOPOGONETUM GRYLLI SERBICUM Kojić et al. 2003. s. l.

14.  Ass. AGROSTIETUM VULGARIS Z. Pavl. 1955. sensu lato

15.  Ass. DANTHONIETUM GALYCINAE Kojić et al. 2004. sensu lato

 Alliance Artemisio-Kochion Soo 1959.

 19. Ass. AGROPYRO-KOCHIETUM PROSTRATAE Zolyomi 1958.

4. Class Festucetea vaginatae Soo 1968. em Vich. 1972.

Grassland psammophite associations belong to this class (mainly found in Vojvodina)

Order Festucetalia vaginatae Soo 1968. em Vich. 1972.

Includes psammophite xerophile grassland associations, often found in Vojvodina

 Alliance Festucion vaginatae Soo 1929.

 20. Ass. FESTUCETUM VAGINATAE Kojić et al. 2004.

Order Astragalo-Potentilletalia Micevski 1970.

Includes xeroterm grassland associations on dry, shallow and often rocky soils

 Alliance Scabioso-Trifolion dalmatici H-ić et Ranđ. 1973.

 21. Ass. ASTRAGALO ONOBRYCHIS-CALAMINHETUM ALPINAE H-ić et Ranđ. 1973.

22. Ass. HORDEO ASPERUM-XERANTHEMETUM ANNUI Ranđ. 1977.

Order Hlacsyetalia sendtneri Ritt.-Studn. 1970.

Includes grassland associations of hilly and mountainous regions, mainly on a serpentine base, on shallow rocky soils

Alliance Centaureo-Bromion fibrosi Blečić et al. 1960.

 23. Ass. POO MOLINIERI-PLANTAGINETUM HOLOSTEIY. Pavl. 1951.

5. Class Festuco-Puccinellietea Soo 1968.

Includes meadow-steppe vegetation of continental marshy terrain with predominantly perennial plants

Order Festuco-Puccinellietalia Soo 1968.

Unites meadow-steppe associations on extremely salty/alkali soils

 Alliance Puccinellion limosae (Klika 1937) Wend. 1943.

 24. Ass. PUCCINELLIETUM LIMOSAE (Rapc. 1927) Wend. 1950.

25. Ass. CAMPHOROSMETUM ANNUAE (Rapc. 1916) Soo 1933.

Alliance Puccinellion peisonis Wend. 1943. corr. Soo 1957.

26. Ass. LEPIDIO CRASSIFOLIO-PUCCINELLIETUM LIMOSAE (Rapcs. 1927) Soo 1957.

Alliance Juncion gerardi Wend. 1943.

27. Ass. AGROSTIO-CARICETUM DISTANTIS (Rapcs. 1927) Soo 1930.

Alliance Beckmannion eruciformis Soo 1933.

28. Ass. AGROSTIO-ALOPECURETUM PRATENSIS Soo (1933) 1947.

Order Artemisio-Festucetalia pseudovinae Soo 1968.

Unites meadow-steppe vegetation of moderate alkali soils

 Alliance Festucion pseudovinae Soo 1933.

 29. Ass. ARTEMISIO-FESTUCETUM PSEUDOVINAE (Mag. 1928) Soo (1945) 1964.

30. Ass. ACHILLEO-FESTUCETUM PSEUDOVINAE (Mag. 1928) Soo (1933) 1945.

6. Class Juncetea trifidi Hadač 1944.

Characteristic high mountain vegetation on shallow soils and rocky ground

Order Seslerietalia conosae Smon. 1957.

High mountain grassland vegetation at great altitude (over 2 600 m above sea level), on slopes

 Alliance Poion violaceae Horv. 1937.

 31. Ass. POETUM VIOLACEAE Z. Pavl. 1955. sensu lato

32. Ass. NARDETUM STRICTAE Grebenšč. 1950.

33. Ass. POO VIOLACEAE-NARDETUM STRICTAE Kojić et al. 1992.

34. Ass. DELTOIDEO-NARDETUM STRICTAE Horv. 1949.

35. Ass. LINO-NARDETUM STRICTAE Rexh. et Ranđ. 1980.

36. Ass. NARDO-FESTUCETUM FALLACIS Rajevski 1990.

7. Class Nardo-Callunetea Preis. 1949.

Widespread associations of mountain pastures and meadows, most significant plant is Nardus stricta

Order Nardetalia strictae Preis. 1949.

Widely spread pasture associations with Mat grass

 Alliance Nardion strictae Br.-Bl. 1926.

 37. Ass. HYGRONARDETUM STRICTAE Pusc.-Soroc. 1956.

 38. Ass. MESONARDETUM STRICTAE Pusc.-Soroc. 1956.

 39. Ass. XERONARDETUM STRICTAE Pusc.-Soroc. 1956.

 40. Ass. ARNICO-NARDETUM STRICTAE Horv. 1962.

 41. Ass. RANUNCULO MONTANAE-NARDETUM STRICTAE Kojić 1992.

Order Callunu-Ulicetalia tx. 1937.

 Alliance Potentillo ternatae-Nardion strictae Simon. 1958.

 42. Ass. TRIFOLIO PALLESCENS-NARDETUM STRICTAE Bleč. et Tat. 1964.

43. Ass. CARICI OEDERI-NARDETUM STRICTAE Petk. 1981.

44. Ass. FESTUCO NIGRESCENTI-NARDETUM STRICTAE Rexh. et Ranđ. 1980.

45. Ass. FESTUCO HALLERI-NARDETUM STRICTAE Rajevski 1974.

46. Ass. HELIANTHEMO-NARDETUM STRICTAE Rajevski 1984.

47. Ass. SUCCISO- NARDETUM STRICTAE Stanković-Tomić 1969.

48. Ass. OPHIOGLOSSO- NARDETUM STRICTAE Gajić 1989.

49. Ass. FESTUCO- NARDETUM STRICTAE SUBALPINUM Rexh. et Ranđ. 1980.

Regardless of the great number of associations only 10 are of high economical importance:

Molinietum coeruleae

Alopecuretum pratensis

Cynosuretum cristati

Agrostietum vulgaris

Danthonietum calycinae

Chrysopogonetum grylli serbicum

Chrysopogonetum grylli pannonicum

Festucetum vaginatae

Poetum violeceae

Nardetum strictae

Grasslands - areas and distribution
Grasslands in Serbia are divided into primary and secondary:

  • Primary grasslands are found in lowlands (on marshy terrain and in steppe regions of Vojvodina, mainly on marshy soils) and in mountains above the tree line.
  • Secondary grasslands, created through deforestation occupy the largest area, are very important for livestock because, besides their large extent, they are more productive and of better quality than primary grasslands.

Zonal distribution of grasslands is related to orography and is not precise, but it represents conditions of habitat and production potential. In the classification shown in Table 10, valley low land area is up to 300 m above sea level, hilly region from 300 - 1000 m and mountain region over 1 000 metres.

Table 10. Distribution of grasslands by zones

Region

Area, ha

Percentage

Average yield t/ha DM

Marshy

40 000

2.4

3.6

Valley

320 000

19.0

3.2

Hilly

580 000

34.5

1.6

Mountain

740 000

44.0

1.0

after Ocokoljic et al.1983

The floristic composition of grasslands is governed by habitat. Since grasslands in Serbia occur from the lowest terrain (under 100 m) to the highest mountains (above 2 500 m) their floristic composition varies as summarised in Table 11.

Table 11. Botanical composition of grasslands by zones (contribution to the biomass, %)

Region

Grasses

Legumes

Forbs

Marshy regions

2-15

0-5

80-95

Valley regions

36-60

5-25

30-45

Hilly regions

20-50

3-10

35-50

Mountain regions

20-40

1-5

35-80

after Ocokoljic et al.1983

Grasslands on lowland marshy terrain have no practical importance for livestock since they are composed of tall plants of poor quality (Phalaris arundinacea, Phragmites communis, Juncus effusus, Carex sp. etc.). Marshy grasslands occur on smaller areas in hilly-mountainous regions (Molinietum coeruleae, Deschampsietum caespitosae); unlike valley grasslands, these associations are composed of low-growing species and provide livestock feed of better quality.

Lowland grasslands are found in river valleys on mild or slight slopes, that occasionally get flooded; they grow on fertile soils with good structure that are of the highest quality in Serbia. They consist of quality grasses (Festuca pratensis, Arrhenatherum elatius, Cynosurus cristatus, Alopecurus pratensis, Agrostis capillaris, Agrostis alba). Usually these grasslands have been ploughed and field crops (grains, sugar beet, sunflower, etc.) replace them. On marshy land in Vojvodina the commonest type is Festucetum pseudoovinae. Lowland grasslands have the highest share of legumes.

From the practical aspect and according to floristic composition, grasslands in hilly and mountainous regions are similar and given in the text as a single group: grasslands of hilly-mountainous region. These are the richest from the floristic aspect, especially in the forest zone. They are also of the greatest significance for livestock production since, in this region, they are the main or sole source of livestock feed.

In natural grasslands there is a scarcity of legumes and quality grasses are scarce with a high frequency of forbs. The commonest legumes are: Trifolium repens, Trifolium montanum, Trifolium alpestre; and less frequent Trifolium pratense and, Lotus corniculatus. The most significant grasses are Agrostis capillaris, Agrostis alba, Festuca rubra and Chrysopogon gryllus. Species of other families, colloquially called weeds, are numerous; a few are of high quality, others of poor quality and some worthless, harmful or poisonous.

Grasslands are divided into meadows and pastures according to their mode of exploitation. Meadows are used for mowing (first cut) and grazing (early spring before growth begins and after mowing until the end of the growing season). Pastures, which are predominantly or exclusively for grazing, are on shallow and steep land, often with numerous immobile or loose rocks or stones on the surface. The Bureau of Statistics registered average yield on meadows of 1.8 and on pastures 0.5 t/ha of dry matter.

Improvement of natural grasslands
Low productivity on natural grasslands is caused by poor husbandry, especially low fertilizer inputs. From the mid nineteen-sixties to the mid nineteen-eighties, grasslands were fertilized and exploited to the full extent; then livestock resources were greater and rural emigration less marked. Research results and their application have demonstrated that the production potential of natural grassland is very high: in lowlands over 10, in hilly region 6 - 8 and mountain region 3-5 t/ha of dry matter.

A decisive measure to increase yield is the application of mineral fertilizers (N, P and K). Planning the quantities and type of fertilizer depends on the nutrient status of the soil and production potential of the grassland. Generally soils in Serbia, especially those under grass, are low in mineral nitrogen and total and available phosphorus, and have a medium or high quantity of available potassium. Humification and mineralisation of nitrogen is low and slow because of low microbiological activity or marked acidity which are dominant characteristics of grassland soils, or because of drought in summer and cold in the winter.

Fertilization of natural grasslands must involve all three macro-nutrients: N, P and K. Research over several years showed that application of one or two nutrient combinations (NP, NK, PK) was unsatisfactory; yield response was slight. Legumes present in Serbian grasslands are most often low producing species (Trifolium alpestre, Trifolium montanum, Trifolium repens with small leaves). If fertilization raises the share of legumes, yields are still low. Only in extremely humid springs, when a massive presence of Trifolium campestre occurs, can combination of PK give considerable yield increase. NP contributes to yield increase compared to the other two component combinations. Since Serbian grasslands have no potential for considerable increase of legumes, N fertilizer has the decisive role, but in the presence of adequate P and K.

Effect of fertilizer on botanical composition
The considerable presence of weeds (forbs) in grasslands is due to insufficient quantities of fertilizer or unsuitable management. Only by combining these two measures can weeds be removed or eradicated. Why? When weedy grassland is fertilized, the relative presence of weeds is reduced in the first year, but their total weight increased because of improved nutrition. If mowing is carried out before seed-set of early annuals in the first year, they will not be present in subsequent years.

The combination of PK will only contribute to an increase of the share of legumes if these are already present in the sward at 5 - 10% (Stosic and Lazarević, 2007). Radojevic et al. (1980) and Stosic (1974) established that application of over 80 kg/ha P2O5, without application of nitrogen, can influence a higher share of legumes in grassland positively, but total yield is not increased. Adjusted quantities of NPK mineral nutrients contribute to grass dominance so that grass makes 90% of total herbage. There is regularity in changes to the floristic composition of grasslands: almost all associations transform into Agrostietum vulgaris, Festucetum rubrae or their transitional forms (Stošic et al., 1989). A strong tendency towards the terminal stage of Agrostietum vulgaris was observed and registered when higher quantities of nitrogen were used.

Effect of fertilization on the yield
For improvement of production on grasslands the most important factor is mineral fertilizer (Figure 7). Experience with application of solid, good fermented manure is positive; manure encourages the growth of legumes and high quality grasses but manure available in hilly- regions is primarily used on potatoes and cereals. Application of liquid manure had no good results; facilities for the storing of manure are often inadequate. Liquid manure encourages robust weeds, most often Rumex sp.; collection of the liquid manure is rare in this region. Today, so called torenje is part of farming practice, whereby livestock are kept in a confined space: one sheep for two or three nights per m2. Considering the floristic composition of grasslands (few legumes and good potential of grasses) the most important nutrient is nitrogen. For grasslands their ratio should be 2-3:1:1 (N:P2O5:K2O =2-3:1:1) that is (N: P: K = 4.7-9.2:1:1.9).

Figure 7. Influence of different quantities of N and PK on the yield of meadow at 800 m a.s.l. (after Stosic 1974)

 Depending on soil characteristics, floristic composition of the grassland and production potential, as well as precipitation, the following quantities of nutrient elements are recommended:

Norm/Standard  N P2O5 K2O
Low 40-60 20-30 20-30
Medium 60-80 30-40 30-40
High 80-120 40-50 40-50

Compound fertilizers with equal ratio of nutrients are available on the domestic market in Serbia. In practice the use of 150 - 330 kg/ha of such fertilizer with addition of 27% KAN or 46% carbamide is recommended.

Application date is determined by circumstances. Since grassland soils are on slopes, it is recommended and practiced that all fertilizers are applied at the same time in the spring, before the start of growth. For natural grasslands, especially 500 m above sea level, topdressing is not recommended for two reasons: firstly, their production is concentrated in the first half of the growing period, in the first cut; secondly, there is a dry period after the first cut and fertilizers still not dissolved are present on the soil for a longer period.

Trials with and without topdressing show no difference in yields. The timing of the first cut has considerable effect on yield; when first cutting was six weeks after the start of growth and subsequently cuts were done weekly for eleven weeks, yield increased constantly (Figure 8). Somewhat higher yield in the second cut can be achieved only after the earliest cutting possible.

Kopaonik Mt.,1 000 m a.s.l. Kopaonik Mt.,1 600 m a.s.l.

Figure 8. Fertilizer effect ( N120P30K60 =1,2 and Total, N80+40P30K60=1a,2a and Total a) and date of cutting on yield and distribution of DM
(after Stosic et al.1996a, Stosic et al.1996b)

Figure 9. Influence of quantities of applied N on the yield of different associations and locations
(after Lazarevic et al., 2003)

In deciding on fertilizer quantities there is a rule: for more productive grasslands higher fertilizer quantities are applied; less productive grasslands which it is the aim to improve are treated initially with lower quantities of fertilizer and as they change in regard to their floristic composition (see Figures 9 and 10) and improve, fertilizer quantities are increased until grassland reacts with increases in yield.

Figure 10. Response of different associations on the same location
(after Kojic et al., 1992)
Unimproved grassland
Improved grassland
Pastures awaiting cutting
Cutting by hand
Cutting by motor tiller
Cutting by tractor
Sheep on pasture
Cattle on pasture
Figure 11. Improved and unimproved grasslands, various methods of cutting and livestock on pastures.
[Click to view full pictures]

Sown grasslands
Sown grassland came into the cropping pattern in the mid nineteen-sixties following research begun at the end of the nineteen-fifties. The area under sown grasslands increased continually for twenty years, then stagnated and fell slightly because of decreasing livestock numbers. Today 155 000 ha under sown grassland provide livestock feed and protect soil from erosion, especially in hilly-mountainous regions where sown grassland replaces arable crops and annual ploughing which caused severe erosion. The evolution of mixtures had several phases; in the first phase mixtures had many species, approximately ten, and fertilizer was either omitted or applied in very small quantities. Subsequently the number of species was reduced and fertilizer use intensified. In lowlands, for mixtures on arable land in intensive production systems and livestock farms, mixtures were of two or three species. Today mixtures comprise 5 to 7 species. Sown grasslands should last for as long as possible, five to seven years or more. Short grass breaks suit lowlands where pasture is included in the rotation.

Choice of mixtures
The key question in designing mixtures is species selection, especially the legume and its proportion (Sostaric-Pisacic et al., 1971). Most grasses have a wide range of environmental adaptability, unlike legumes. Apart from Lolium multiflorum which is very sensitive to frost and Lolium perenne which needs a temperate climate and high fertility, for the remaining grasses it is only a question of detail how to select the best ones. A fifteen year investigation showed that, in mixtures, the proportion of Arrhenatherum elatius decreased with increasing altitude (1 100, 1 600 and 1 800metres), Phleum pratense increased constantly, while Dactylis glomerata was unchanged (Stosic and Radojević, 1980). The commonest sown grasses are: Dactylis glomerata, Phleum pratense, Arrhenatherum elatius, Festuca pratensis, Festuca arundinacea, Festuca rubra, Lolium perenne, Lolium multiflorum; Bromus inermis, Agrostis vulgaris, and Poa pratensis are less frequently sown.

The basic range of legumes is: from lowland to 1 200 metres where soils are not very acid alfalfa is used, on dry, sandy, more acid soils bird’s-foot trefoil is recommended. On fertile, moist, soils red clover is used and on all mountain soils white clover is included in the mixture. White clover is the least used legume for two reasons: firstly only narrow-leaved types with narrow leaves, sensitive to lodging have been used which are not very competitive; secondly, sown grasslands are mainly used for mowing. Trials of white clover with medium or large leaves are positive in regard to better persistence in mixtures but their seed is hard to find on the market.

The commonest ratio legumes:grasses is 20 to 30:70 to 80% of grass that is 10 - 15% weight of legumes and 85 - 90% of grasses. Mixtures in lowland crop rotations have a higher share of legumes (40 - 70%) and are used for shorter periods (2 - 4 years) (Lazarevic et al., 2004).

The main problem for grasslands in hilly-mountainous regions is how to maintain legumes. During the first two years the share of legumes is usually within planned limits; in the third and especially in subsequent years, the presence of legumes is considerably reduced (Lazarevic et al., 2007). When the proportion of legumes was planned to be up to 30% of the sward, bare ground after the third year may be filled by grasses so adequate cover is maintained but if that does not occur the empty space is colonised by weeds. Table 12 shows the commonest mixtures and Table 13 mixtures according to maturation period.

Table 12. Mixture according to duration:

 Mixture/Species

Percentage

kgha-1

Short term 1-3 years

   

 Trifolium pratense

 40

 8

 Lolium multiflorum

 60

 25

Medium term 4-6 years

   

 Trifolium pratense

 10

 2

 Lotus corniculatus

 20

 4

 Dactylis glomerata

 40

 16

 Lolium perenne

 30

 15

Long term >6 years

   

 Medicago sativa

 20

 4

 Lotus corniculatus

 20

 4

 Dactylis glomerata

 20

 8

 Phleum pratense

 40

 12

 Festuca rubra

 20

 10


Table 13. Mixtures according to maturation period

 Mixture/Species

Percentage

kgha-1

 Early maturing

   

 Trifolium pratense

  20

  4

 Lotus corniculatus

  10

  2

 Festuca rubra

  40

  20

 Festuca arundinacea

  30

  12

Medium maturing

   

 Trifolium pratense

  20

  4

 Lotus corniculatus

  10

  2

 Dactylis glomerata

  30

  12

 Lolium perenne

  40

  20

Late maturing

   

 Trifolium pratense

  20

  4

 Lotus corniculatus

  10

  2

 Festuca pratensis

  30

  15

 Phleum pratense

  40

  15

Provision of a steady supply of quality feed from sown grassland throughout the season has to be assured by choice of species; no cultivars with different maturation periods are available in Serbia; seed importers pay no attention to this issue.

Table 14 shows examples of mixtures from regions where most of the sown grasslands are.

Table 14. Mixtures according to ecological conditions

 Mixture/Species

Sjenica

Vlasina

Zlatibor

 %

kgha-1

 %

kgha-1

 %

kgha-1

Medicago sativa

10

3

-

-

10

2

Trifolium pratense

10

2

20

4

-

-

Lotus corniculatus

-

-

10

2

10

2

Dactylis glomerata

20

10

15

6

20

8

Phleum pratense

20

8

15

5

10

4

Festuca pratensis

   

15

8

-

-

Lolium perenne

15

7

15

6

20

10

Lolium multiflorum

5

4

 

-

10

5

Festuca rubra

20

8

10

5

20

10

Explanation: seed rate of each species is calculated on its planned cover value as a percentage. Seed wholesalers are obliged to indicate on a test certificate share of each species expressed as percentage by weight

Methods for establishing sown grasslands
Sown grassland is mainly established by ploughing, seed-bed preparation and usually, manual sowing. If manure is used it must be ploughed in; mineral fertilizers, when used, are applied after ploughing and before seedbed preparation. Grasslands are rarely established by rough soil preparation (using disc harrow, milling machine and deep ploughing). Reseeding of parts of established grasslands is not used; trials were inconclusive.

Sowing is mainly in spring, usually without a nurse crop, but sometimes wheat or oats are used. Seed rate of nurse crops is not usually reduced sufficiently, cover crops are cut late, often only at maturity. The seed rate for mixtures is approximately 40 kg/ha but under a cover crop over 50 kg/ha of is used.

Fertilization of sown grassland
Application of manure before establishment and during the period of use contributes to a higher share of legumes and their better and longer persistence in mixtures but manure is primarily used on potatoes and cereals. For sown grasslands the rule is: at establishment with legumes in mixtures, compound fertilizer is applied with an equal ratio of nutrients (most often 15:15:15) at rates of 45 - 60 kg/ha N, P2O5 and K2O. When the legume component disappears or falls below 5%, quantities of phosphorus and potassium are kept at the same level and nitrogen increased to 60 - 120 kg/ha.

The following figures show how fertilizers affect the botanical composition and yield of mixtures (see Figures 12 and 13).

 
           0     P80K80      N80P80K80     NI60P80K80      N320P80K80       
 
Figure 12. Influence of NPK nutrition amount on participation of legumes and grasses in mixtures
(after Stosic 1990). 
Figure 13. Influence of NPK nutrition on yield in first three years
(after Stosic, 1990)

Table 15 shows how legumes contribute to rationalisation of production.

Table 15. Contribution of legume N to mixtures

Plant or mixture

 N kgha-1

 tha-1 DM

Lucerne 70% + Grasses 30%

 0

 12.4

Grasses

 150

 11.6

White clover70% +Ryegrass 30%

 0

 11.8

Ryegrass

 100

 11.4

Red clover 70%+Italian ryegrass 30%

 0

 9.1

Italian ryegrass

 120

 9.5

after Stosic et al., 1997

Fodder crops
Agro-ecological conditions influence selection of forage crops. On demonstration farms in different ecological zones crop plans based on the needs of a single dairy cow have been calculated which aim to base the diet on fodder (hay, silage and green mass) with the necessary concentrates. Calculations were based on 4 500 kg per cow per lactation (Table 16):

Table 16. Lowland region

Crop

Annual need kg

Planned yield tha-1

Necessary land ha

Alfalfa

-hay
1 400
9
0.20

-green mass

2 000

Maize for silage

3 800

38

0.10

Winter mixtures

2 000

40

0.05

Catch crops

1 500

30

0.05

Sorghum

2 500

50

0.05

after Stosic et al.,1997

In lowlands with the seed mixtures and yields given above, 0.45 ha is needed for a dairy cow, so, a hectare produces 10 000 kg of milk.

Table 17. Hilly regions

Crop

Annual needs in kg

Planned yield tha-1

Necessary land ha

Artificial meadow




-hay
1 500
8
0.30
-green mass
2 500
   

Maize for silage

6 000

30

0.20

Winter mixtures

1 750

35

0.05

Sorghum

1 500

30

0.05

after Stosic et al.,1997

Up to 700 metres crop choice narrows, soil fertility declines and the growing season shortens, so 0.6 ha of land is necessary for a milch cow. In hilly regions (Table 17), based on 4 500 kg in a lactation, a hectare of land can produce 7 500 kg of milk.

Table 18. Mountain region

Crop

Annual needs kg

Planned yield tha-1

Necessary land ha

Artificial meadow

hay
silage
green mass

1 500
6 000
5 500

8

1.00

after Stosic et al., 1997

Livestock production is completely dependent on grassland in mountain regions. Experience from demonstration farms shows that a hectare meets the needs of one milking cow (Table 18), so would yield 4 500 kg of milk.

 Seed production
Production of field crop seeds (maize, wheat, barley, oats, sunflower, etc) is well organized, stable and meets domestic demand; maize and sunflower seed are exported. Forage seed production does not meet the demand (Table 19) and seed is imported each year.

Forage seed production is very uneven, especially for alfalfa, with yields varying between 150 to 1 000 kg/ha, primarily due to weather at flowering and pollination. Seed is mainly harvested from the second cut when flowering coincides with a hot, dry period and numbers of pollinating insects are high. Such conditions do not favour good growth of alfalfa. Serbia either has to import half of its needs or have a surplus of almost half, as happened in 2008. These oscillations make long-term planning of seed production difficult.

Demand for red clover seed and especially for bird's-foot trefoil is partially satisfied domestically. Production of seed of perennial grasses in Serbia is insufficient; only a few types are produced: Arrhenatherum elatius, Festuca arundinacea, Lolium perenne, Lolium multiflorum, Festuca pratensis, Phleum pratense and Festuca rubra; their production does not satisfy demand and seed of other species is all imported.

Table 19. Estimates of current demand and production of forage seed

Species

Demand, tonnes

Production, tonnes

Medicago sativa

1 000

1 500

Trifolium pratense

600

200

Lotus corniculatus

120

20

Grasses (all species)

800

150

Sorghum bicolor

50

50

Sorghum sudanense

80

80

Pisum sp.

400

200

Vicia sp.

400

250

Beta vulgaris

20

20

The main reason for inadequate supply is absent or poor links in the production system, processing and marketing. There has been a decrease in seed marketed recently; areas for seed production were reduced due to the reduction in livestock numbers. The greatest oscillations in production are for alfalfa and red clover; their seed is obtained from combined feed - seed, usually from the second cut from dense stands (12.5 - 20 cm rows). In good years, but very rarely, production meets domestic demand and some remains for export. Seed of perennial grasses is always imported. Currently seed of only four grasses is produced in Serbia: Arrhenatherum elatius, Festuca arundinacea, Lolium multiflorum, and Lolium perenne.

Fodder conservation
In organizing the production of animal feed the greatest mistakes occur during the conservation process, causing great losses and reducing the nutritive value of such feeds considerably.

Haymaking
Biomass of perennial legumes and grasses, their mixtures from arable land and grasslands, as well as mixtures of annual legumes with cereals are mainly conserved as hay. Mowing grasslands and arable land is mainly by tractor-powered cutter-bar or rotary mowers. Large state farms have mowers with built in conditioners. In mountain regions, on less accessible terrain, small mowers mounted on motor cultivators are used.

Hay is usually dried on the field. After cutting and possibly conditioning, herbage is turned to accelerate drying. Haymaking has the greatest losses, on average 30-40% of dry matter and 60% of carotene is lost. Losses increase with frequency of mechanical handling. Recently pick-up balers have come into use; small ones making bales of 15 to 20 kg are used in lowlands and are spreading slowly in the hilly-mountainous region. Every year hundreds of second-hand balers are imported from Austria, Germany and Switzerland and after repair and maintenance, are sold throughout Serbia. State farms, especially in Vojvodina, use large balers making bales of 300 - 400kg. In some regions, especially western Serbia, wooden devices (poles, tripods) are used for drying hay; in this way loss of nutrients is reduced.

In mountain regions hay is usually stacked out of doors. In hilly and especially lowland regions it is stored in barns, or lofts above stables. Baled hay is stacked, protected with plastic covers.

Pea/oat mixture
Preparing hay by hand
Mechanized hay preparation
Figure 14. Various mixtures and methods of preparing hay
[Click to view full pictures]

Silage-making
Silage has been made in Serbia since the early nineteen-eighties; whole-crop maize is the commonest silage in lowland and hilly regions; maize gives high yields, satisfactory nutritive value and especially a high soluble carbohydrate content. The decisive moment was the introduction of suitable machinery for harvest of whole-crop maize - single row combines. Great numbers of second-hand combines are now imported so ensiling is becoming more and more common in both lowland and hilly-mountainous regions. Year on year ensiling of grass, alfalfa and mixtures of annual legumes and cereals is expanding. There is no data on the area under silage maize but it is taken to be about 5% of all maize. Ensiling of maize cobs and grain is only done where pig production is developed, as on some state and private farms in Vojvodina.

Types of silo.Various types of silo are used, from expensive, permanent ones of good quality to improvised ones. Silo type determines the losses as well as fermentation conditions and silage quality. When it was being introduced silage was made in temporary silos (Dinic and Djordjević, 2005); for instance, it was made in small surface stacks, or silo piles, where terrain is slightly elevated. Sometimes small silos are made of wooden planks and covered with plastic. Most farms make silage in permanent facilities of more solid material: concrete, concrete blocks, bricks, metal or special plastics. The commonest are silos built on the surface, the sidewalls are of reinforced concrete, the floor is concrete with an adequate slope; silo trenches are often covered. Tower silos are rare.

Mechanization necessary for preparation and utilization of silage. Lack of suitable machinery was a major reason for the slow introduction of silage. Suitability of machinery determines the quality of silage. Basic mechanization for ensiling whole-crop maize is the single row silo harvester, rarely a two-row silo combine. Recently import of second-hand single and two-row silo combines is increasing; some self-propelled combines are recorded. For grass silage forage harvesters and self-loading trailers are used. For silage transport, conventional single axle or two axle trailers with side extensions are used, rarely special types or self-loading and unloading trailers. Silage is compacted with conventional tractors, rarely caterpillars. Extracting of silage on small farms is done manually.

Different silage harvesters in use
Wood lined silage trench
Concrete lined silage trenches being filled and silage being utilized

Figure 15. Methods of silage making and use
[Click to view full pictures]


6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES

General principles
Serbia needs a defined agricultural policy to improve fodder production but the current situation is not favourable to this. The economy is in crisis, the political system is in transition. Many people have problems in coming to terms with change. While unemployment is very high there is a reluctance to engage in agricultural work.

What has to be done to change this situation?

  • Farms and farm size must be protected by law from further subdivision;
  • Credit policy should be designed to develop, stimulate and offer incentives in those branches of agriculture that are a basis of development;
  • Support and stimulate increase of farm size; encourage young people who decide to remain in rural areas with favourable credit;
  • Create conditions to increase the number of livestock per farm, especially cattle and sheep;
  • Agricultural producers now have no associations. Agricultural cooperatives are almost non-operational and without basic agricultural service;
  • Individual farmers either sell their products on the green market, or to middlemen. Now mega-markets are buying agricultural products, but farmers are not prepared, and their products are not uniform in presentation nor quality. Continuity of supply is required which farmers cannot assure. An association of farmers is being established to provide unified and continuous production as a prerequisite not only for their future progress but for their survival as market producers.

The agricultural advisory service is not developed to the extent where it can provide reliable and timely assistance to producers.

  • Farmers learn of innovations (cultivars, technologies, protection) mainly through television, radio and specialized journals or newspapers with small circulation;
  • The expert agricultural advisory service works within the Ministry of Agriculture. It has stations coordinated by the Institute of Science Application in Agriculture;
  • Research institutions are linked to the Ministry of Science. A few years ago the Ministry of Agriculture established contact with research institutions, which was not so before; to date several projects have been executed with institutes as direct participants in the improvement of agricultural production. This approach was very well accepted by farmers.

Improving livestock and forage production

Cattle

Cattle production can be improved in two ways:

  • By intensifying the selection measures;
  • By increasing the production of roughage and improving its quality;

Selection measures include: cattle shows, milk recording of registered cows, recording of bull dams, bull performance testing, biological bull test, progeny testing for fattening traits, progeny testing for milk yield, etc. It is important that expert service should choose the breed (genotype) and define clear and sensible breeding and production objectives. It is important to define the goal, whether it is milk production, dual-purpose or meat production - that is fattening of young cattle. For Central Serbia (in the authors’ opinion) the right solution is a dual-purpose breed and that is Domestic Spotted cattle which are good milkers with very good fattening traits. For dairy production in Vojvodina the best solution is Holstein-Friesian or its crossbreds.

Sheep
The productivity of native breeds could be improved by crossing with breeds with higher milk yield. Sheep milk and dairy products are in demand on the world market, contrary to the surplus of wool, lamb and mutton. Considering the low capacity of Serbian sheep for meat production, there should be improvement by use of rams of meat breeds. In regard to selection measures, the number of sheep under productivity control and milk yield testing should be increased, as well as the number of sheep in performance testing, biological testing and the number of rams in progeny testing.

Goats
To improve and increase goat production it is necessary to:

  • modernize goat breeding, to focus on increase of fertility and milk yield;
  • organize the market for goat dairy and meat products;
  • engage expert and research services to determine the directions of future development of goat breeding as well as in education of producers and breeders;
  • intensify selection measures in goat breeding to increase the number under control of productivity and performance, also biological and progeny testing of male goats.

Improvement of forage production

Land areas and yields
Improvement of forage production is closely related to improvement of livestock production. Conditions for development of livestock production are closely related to providing sufficient quantities of high quality livestock feed.

Using known, proven technology the hay yield of forage crops should be stabilized as follows: alfalfa 10 tha-1, red clover 7 tha-1, bird's-foot trefoil 6 tha-1 of hay; for green forage silage maize 40 - 60 tha-1, forage sorghum 80 tha-1, legume/cereal mixtures 60 - 80 tha-1.

Production technology
Beside stimulating production and improving the quality of arable forage and sown and natural grasslands, attention should be directed to improvement of processing, conservation and storage.

To improve the production of forage plants it is necessary to:

  • Change the cropping pattern;
  • Increase the productivity of forage plants and to determine the zones for specific forages;
  • Increase and improve the management of natural grasslands (meadows and pastures);
  • Introduce new species, cultivars and hybrids of forage crops into production;
  • Find better use for crop residues and agro-industrial by-products;
  • Decrease the dependence on weather, especially low precipitation;
  • Stabilize and increase the production of forage seeds to cover the range of cultivars and species needed;
  • Develop and introduce standards for production and marketing of livestock feed.

Reducing production costs: These possibilities include:

a) Change the stock feeding concept. Use whichever fodder is much cheaper instead of feeding “from the bag”. Grazing should be organized wherever possible.

b) Grow forage as between-crops, after-crops and catch crops, or in other words crops of "second harvest". Free time after cereal harvest of 70 to 100 days (July to September) with air temperatures, intensive insolation and low precipitation, with irrigation for the production of food. The degree of exploitation of soil, light, temperature, irrigation system, etc. would be increased which would lead to cheaper forage.

c) Change forage cropping patter. Increase the share of annual legumes. Introduce forage kales, especially winter crops (they mature early) and thus prolong the season of availability of green fodder.

Define production zones. Better agro-ecological definition of production criteria for arable and forage crops would contribute to cheaper plant production. Soybean in parts of Vojvodina, due to the low rainfall and high temperatures in July and August gives low yields; in these ecozones it is better to grow spring peas for fodder and cereals for concentrates. Peas are sown early in spring, and growth is over by mid July; the peas have a higher yield potential than soybean.

More attention should be directed to forage quality and the production of safe, healthy livestock feed. Increasing the use of legumes which are valuable sources of protein, is very important for improving forage quality. Through biological nitrogen fixation, they provide about 60 % of their needs in nitrogen. When legumes have been ploughed in the soil is more fertile and cleaner of weeds since these are crops with good soil cover.

More attention should be given to following the optimal stages in the development of plants especially in regard to mowing of meadows (usually late), losses in processing, conservation and storing of hay, haylage, silage, etc.

In fodder production rational use of pesticides and mineral fertilizers is a significant issue, as well as monitoring the quality of livestock feed in regard to their content of harmful substances (nitrates, nitrites, heavy metals, pesticide residues).

After-crops, crops following cereals and between-crops used as cover crops, especially winter crops for livestock, or green manure contribute considerably to protecting and conserving the soil. With deeper and better ploughing, more fertilizers and pesticides, use of high yielding cultivars and hybrids crop rotation has become less important but not entirely neglected. Disregard of rotations has led to increase of all weed species, especially perennial and rhizomatous ones resistant to herbicides.

Increased and improved use of grasslands: Natural grasslands by their area extent have a great production potential; their more rational use would lead to faster development of cattle, sheep and goats and provide cheaper fodder.

Only through application of fertilizers, adequate balance of NPK fertilizers (2-3:1:1) and management (system with both grazing and mowing), yields can be increased considerably (up to 6-8 t/ha of hay). With the use of 150-200 kg/ha of compound NPK fertilizer (15:15:15) and 100 - 150 kg/ha of KAN fertilizer (27%N), responses of 6 - 7 kg of hay per kg of applied fertilizer can be attained.

Improvement of production on artificial grasslands should be carried out in two directions:

  • improving persistence of legumes in mixtures by creating favourable conditions for them, primarily by reducing soil acidity; less competitive grasses should be used to favour legumes;
  • cultivars of different maturation period should be included in mixtures for sown grasslands so that their production season can be prolonged.

Haymaking will remain the traditional way of fodder conservation but grasses can be ensiled successfully and problems relating to drying avoided, especially in humid regions and wet weather.

Exploitation of grasslands by grazing needs to be reaffirmed in order to increase their productivity and keep down costs; more sown grasslands (meadows and pastures) will be of great importance, but high quality seed of perennial grass and legumes must be made freely available.

Introduction of new species, cultivars and hybrids as well as new methods for their use is also very important.

Improved and increased use of by-products of arable crops: Quick and expensive production of meat and milk production systems has eliminated not only numerous arable fodders (forage beet, annual clovers, etc.) but an entire series of crop residues (beet tops, green peas haulms for conservation, cornstalks, by-products of brewing, oilseed residues, etc.).

Increased use of agro-industrial by-products, such as raw and dry beet pulp, brewers’ yeast, beet molasses, soybean meal, sunflower meal and rape meal, apple pomace and grape marc, brewery waste, sunflower seed hulls and other products. Annual production of by-products in processing industries is: soybean meal 215 000 t, sunflower meal 75 400 t, raw sugar beet pulp 1 300 000 t, fodder meal 200 000 t.

The dependence of forage production on weather conditions can be reduced if modern irrigation facilities are built and existing ones better used.

More stable production of forage seed and a wider choice of material. Development of improved forages should be followed by intensive development of seed production for domestic markets and export. There are modern facilities for final processing of seeds, favourable soil-climate conditions suited to seed production material of most forage plants and trained persons. Production volumes of grass seeds, red clover and bird's-foot trefoil must be significantly increased

Development and introduction of standards for production and marketing of livestock feed including forage, for two reasons. Firstly, the need to standardize the diet in modern livestock nutrition, not only in regard to the quantity of fodder, but also in respect to quantity and quality of nutrients; secondly, the need to market fodder. In the concentrate industry there are certain standards, whereas in the marketing of fodder and livestock feeds (roughage) there are no standards.

Changes in production and standardization of the quality of livestock feed and technology of livestock nutrition, together with selection and improvement, should contribute to the increase of stock numbers and production per head.


7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

Table 20. Institutions and researchers in the field of grassland

 Name

 Position

 Specialisation

 e-mail

Agricultural Research Institute, Belgrade; Centre for Forage Crops; Trg Kosturnica 50, 37000 Krusevac; Tel. +38137 423863;Fax +38137 441295. e-mail: info@ikbks.com, www.ikbks.com

Dr Bora Dinic

Principal research fellow

Conservation

bora.dinic@ikbks.com

Dr Dragi Lazarevic

Principal research fellow

Grassland utilization

dragi.lazarevic@ikbks.com

Dr Zoran Lugic

Principal research fellow

Clover breeding

 zoran.lugic@ikbks.com

Dr Jasmina Radovic

Research associate

Lucerne breeding

jasmina.radovic@ikbks.com

Dr Dejan Sokolovic

Research associate

Grass breeding

dejan.sokolovic@ikbks.com

Dr Goran Jevtic

Research associate

Apiculture

goran.jevtic@ikbks.com

Dr Rade Stanisavljevic

Research associate

Seed production

rade.stanisavljevic@ikbks.com

Mr Jasmina Milenkovic

Research assistant

Grass breeding

jasmina.milenkovic@ikbks.com

Mr Tanja Vasic

Research assistant

Phytopatology

tanja.vasic@ikbks.com

Mr Snezana Andjelkovic

Research assistant

Microbiology

snezana.andjelkovic@ikbks.com

Mr Dragan Terzic

Research assistant

Seed production

dragan.terzic@ikbks.com

Mr Dragoslav Djokic

Research assistant

Mechanization

dragoslav.djokic@ikbks.com

Jordan Markovic

Research trainee

Chemistry

jordan.markovic@ikbks.com

Snezana Babic

Research trainee

Grass breeding

snezana.babic@ikbks.com

Ratibor Strbanovic

Research trainee

Lucerne breeding

ratibor.strbanovic@ikbks.com

Mirjana Cvetkovic

Research trainee

Phytocenology

mirjana.cvetkovic@ikbks.com

Bogovid Zivkovic

Research trainee

Molecular biology

bogovid.zivkovic@ikbks.com

Bojan Andjelkovic

Research trainee

Apiculture

bojan.andjelkovic@ikbks.com

 

Faculty of Agriculture, Nemanjina 6, 11080 Zemun-Belgrade. Tel.+381112615315; Fax +38111 193659; e-mail:office@agrif.bg.ac.rs, www.agrifaculty.bg.ac.yu

Prof. Dr Goran Grubic

Full professor

Ruminant nutrition

goran.grubic@agrif.bg.ac.rs

Prof. Dr Savo Vuckovic

Full professor

Forage production

savovuck@agrif.bg.ac.rs

Prof. Dr Nenad Djordjevic

Associate professor

Ruminant nutrition

nesadj@agrif.bg.ac.rs

Dr Aleksandar Simic

Research associate

Grassland management

alsimic@agrif.bg.ac.rs

Bojan Stojanovic

Research assistant

Animal nutrition

arcturas@agrif.bg.ac.rs

Aleksa Bozickovic

Research trainee

Animal nutrition

aleksab@agrif.bg.ac.rs

 

Institute for Animal Husbandry, Autoput 16, 11080 Zemun. Tel.+381112670121; Fax +381112670164; e-mail:iahbeg@eunet.yu, www.istocar.bg.ac.yu

Dr Zorica Tomic

Principal research fellow

Grass breeding

zotom@mail.com

Dr Ljiljana Sretenovic

Principal research fellow

Animal nutrition

lilisret@ptt.yu

Dr Miroslav Zujovic

Principal research fellow

Animal nutrition

zotom@mail.com

Dr Vesna Krnjaja

Research associate

Phytopathology

vkrnjaja@mail.com

Mr Milos Lukic

Research assistant

Animal nutrition

milosluk@net.yu

Mr Zorica Nesic

Research assistant

Forage production

znesic@yahoo.com

 

Faculty of Agriculture, 21000 Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 8. Tel.+381214853500, www.polj.ns.ac.yu

Prof. Dr Dragan Djukic

Full professor

Lucerne breeding

dragandj@polj.ns.ac.yu

Prof. Dr Pero Eric

Full professor

Forage production

pero@polj.ns.ac.yu

Prof. Dr Branko Cupina

Full professor

Forage production

cupinab@polj.ns.ac.yu

Mr Djordje Krstic

Research assistant

Forage production

djordjek@polj.ns.ac.yu

 

Research Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, 21000 Novi Sad, Maksima Gorkog 30; Tel.+381214898372; Fax+831214898377, www.ifvcns.co.yu

Dr Vojislav Mihailovic

Principal research fellow

Annual legume breeding

vojamih@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Dr Slobodan Katic

Senior research associate

Lucerne breeding

catisc@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Dr Djura Karagic

Research associate

Forage seed production

djura@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Dr Sanja Vasiljevic

Research associate

Clover breeding

sanjava@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Mr Imre Pataki

Research assistant

Sorghum breeding

pataki@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Mr Dragan Milic

Research assistant

Lucerne breeding

dmilic@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

Mr Aleksandar Mikic

Research assistant

Annual legume breeding

mikic@ifvcns.ns.ac.yu

 

Agricultural Faculty, 32000 Cacak, Cara Dusana 34. Tel.+38132303400; Fax.+38132303401; www.afc.kg.ac.yu

Prof. dr Vladeta Stevovic

Associate professor

Forage production

vladeta@tfc.kg.ac.yu

Prof. dr Dragutin Djukic

Full professor

Microbiology

lekamg@tfc.kg.ac.yu

Prof. dr Leka Mandic

Assistant professor

Microbiology

lekamg@tfc.kg.ac.yu

Mr Dragan Djurovic

Research assistant

Forage Breeding

vladeta@tfc.kg.ac.yu

Mr Ranko Koprivica

Research assistant

Mechanization

ranko@tfc.kg.ac.yu


8. REFERENCES

Berenji J. and Kišgeci J. (1988): Growing of maize and sorghum as second crop. VI. Yugoslav symposium for forage crops, Proc. 286-291.

Dinić B. and Djordjević N. (2005): Preparing and silage utilization. Institute for Agricultural Research, Serbia, Belgrade.

Dugalić G. and Gajić B. (2002): Agro physical characteristics of pseudoglay in the Kraljevo basin. Plant and Soil, vol.51, no.3, 141-148.

Ćupina B., Erić P., Mihajlović V., Mikić A., Krstić D., and Vucković S. (2007): Importance, status and prospects of annual forage crops in agro-ecological conditions of Serbia. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No.1, 261-270. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Đukić, D., Lugić Z., Sanja Vasiljević, Jasmina Radović, Katić S., and Ivana Stojanović (2007): Domestic cultivars of perennial legumes – Development and quantitative traits.. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 44, No 1, 7-19. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Glamočlija, Đ., Pavešić-Popović Jasna, Vučković S., Prijić Lj., and Zagrađanin G. (1996): The influence of nitrogen and cutting phase on lucerne yield. A periodical of scinetific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 26, 195-203.

Katić S., Lukić D., Ćupina B., and Mihajlović V. (1996): Genetic and phenotypic correlations of yield of dry matter, fresh root mass and number of plants per area unit of alfalfa. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.26, 41-47, Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Katić, S., Lazarević B., Milić D., Sanja Vasiljević, and Karagić Đ. (2007): Effects of lime application and seed inoculation on alfalfa yields and stand persistence on pseudoglay soils. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No 1, 387-392. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Kojić M.,Slavica Mrfat-Vukelić,Zora Dajić,Sava Ajder,Stošić M.,and Lazarević D. (1992): Meadow vegetation on Rudnjanska Plateau and Radocelo mt.. Medical communication and Institute for forage crops, 1-114.

Kojić M.,Mrfat-Vukelić S.,Dajić Z.and Djordjević-Milosević S.(2004): Meadows and pastures of Serbia (in Serbian). Agricultural Research Institute Serbia, 1-89.

Krstić, O. and Lugić Z. (1996): New cultivar of white clover Krusevacka 33 (K-33) (Trifolium repens L.). A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 26, 71-77.

Lazarevic D., Mrfat-Vukelic S., Stosic M. and Dinic B. (2003): Potential of natural grasslands in mountainous and hilly areas of Serbia. Grassland Science in Europe, vol.8, 60-63.

Lazarević D., Stosić M., Dinić B., Lugić Z. and Terzić D. (2004): Production and proportion of species in grass-leguminous mixtures in hilly-mountainous region of Serbia. The 20th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, abstract, 98.

Lazarević D., Stošić M., Dinić B. and Terzić D. (2007): Utilization of grasslands in hilly-mountainous and low land regions of Serbia. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No.1, 301-308. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Lazarević, R. (2003). Contemporarz cattle production. Agricons, Belgrade.

Lugić Z., Krstić O., Tomić Zorica and Radović Jasmina (1996): Influence of method of sowing on production of dry matter and seeds of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 26, 259-264.

Maksimović Livija, Katić S., Karagić Đ., Đukić D. and Milić S. (2007): Effects of irrigation and cutting intensity on yield of alfalfa. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops vol. 44, No 1, 407-413. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Marković, P.(1993): Agricultural atlas of Serbia (in Serbian), Belgrade

Mihajlović V., Patali I., Mikić A. and Sanja Vasiljević (2007): Achievements in breeding annual forage crops in Serbia. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No 1, 79-86. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Mijatović M., Jasna Pavešić-Popović, Kovačević Ž. and Pavlović S. (1988): Productivity of some alfalfa cultivars under various ecological conditions. VI. Yugoslav symposium for forage crops, 1-9

Ocokoljić S., Mijatović M., Čolić D., Bošnjak D. and Milošević P. (1983): Natural and artificial grasslands (in Serbian). Nolit, Belgrade.

Ostojić S., Stošić M. and Terzić D. (1996): Investigation of productivity of annual forage crops in different management. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 26, 325-332. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Radojević D., Stošić M. and Mladenović R. (1980): Floral and productive changes of Nardetum strictae association on Kopaonik Mt. (1600 m above sea level) caused by fertilization. Proceedings of the 8th General Meeting of the EGF, Zagreb, 163-169.

Radović Jasmina, Lugić Z. and Vučković S. (1996): Variability of quantitative traits in cultivar and population of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the first year of life. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.26, 49-55, Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Radović J., Dinić B. and Pudlo V. (2003): Productivity and quality of some bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) varieties. Grassland Science in Europe, vol.8, 118-121.

Statistical Yearbook of Serbia (2008). Issues and prints: Statistical office of the Republic of Serbia, 2008, Belgrade.

Stevović V., Đukić D., Đurović D. and Đalović I. (2004): The effect of liming on the yield and quality of lucerne and red clover fodder. Acta Agriculturae Serbica, vol. IX, 17 (Special Issue), 295-301.

Stosic M. (1974): Effect of Mineral Fertilizers on the Yield and Floral Composition of a Mountain Meadow of the Danthonietum calycinae Type. Journal for Scientific Agricultural Research, No 97,121-147.

Stošić M. and Radojević D. (1980): Duration and suitability of grass-legume mixtures for forage production in the mountain regions of Serbia. Proceedings 8th General Meeting of the EGF, 93-101.

Stošić M., Mrfat-Vukelić Slavica and Kojić M. (1989): The influence of environment and fertilizers on the yield and floristic composition of grasslands in Serbia. Proceedings of the XVI International Grassland Congress, Nice, 1449-1450.

Stošić M. (1990): Influence of mineral fertilizers on the yield and quality of legume-grass mixtures and on the status of phosphorus in the soil. Abstracts Symposium Plant-soil interaction at low pH, Berkley, USA, 75.

Stošić M., Lazarević D., Jasna Pavešić-Popović and Slavica Mrfat-Vukelić. (1996a): Influence of time of utilization and way of applying of mineral fertilizers on distribution of production of natural grassland type Danthoniietum calycinae on Koponik mt. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops,vol.26, 309-316.

Stošić M., Lazarević D. and Dinić B. (1996b): Influence date of cutting and mineral fertilizers on yield distribution of ass.Agrostietum vulgaris on Kopaonik Mt., A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, 26, 309-316. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Stosic M.,Lazarevic R.,Dinic B.,Lazarevic R. and Ostojic S. (1997): Agroecological, Tehnological and Organizational Conditions of Forage Production in Yugoslavia. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry, no. 3-4, 89-102.

Stošić M. and Lazarević D. (2007): Results of grassland research in Serbia. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol. 44, No 1, 333-346. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Šoštarić-Pisačić K., Radojević D. and Stošić M. (1971): Grasslands-Mixtures for sown grassland, Agricultural encyclopedia, Vol. 3, 340-370.

Terzić D., Dinić B., Lazarević D., Jasmina Radović, Stanisavljević R. and Marković J. (2007): Productivity of sorghum and fodder broad beans intercroping as double cropping. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No 1, 277-284. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

Tomić Zorica and Sokolović D. (2007): Breeding of perennal grasses – Methods, criteria and results in Serbia. A periodical of scientific research on field and vegetable crops, vol.44, No 1, 51-69. Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad.

www. Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, Belgrade

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to thank their colleague Mr D. Terzic for his technical assistance in preparing this text.


9. CONTACTS
Dr Dragi Lazarevic
Institute for forage crops
Tel:+381 37 423863
Fax:+381 37 441295
e-mail:dragi.lazarevic@ikbks.com
37000 Krusevac
Trg Kosturnica 50
Professor Dr Milorad Stosic
Tel/Fax: +381 37 423 246
e-mail:stole10@ptt.rs
stosicmilorad@yahoo.com

[The profile was prepared in April/May 2009 and edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G. Reynolds in May 2009]