Types of Agricultural Grasslands


turberr.JPG (23756 bytes) Non-intensive grasslands produce less of value in the way of a grass crop. There are many different types. Wet, heathy grasslands are known as Rhs pasture (left). Other areas which are used for livestock grazing include meadows, moorland, heathland and chalk grasslands. All of these will have specialised flora and fauna.
marshfrit.JPG (23924 bytes) The biodiversity of these areas is many times greater than that of intensive grasslands. Non-intensive grasslands provide habitats for rare and endangered plants and animals such as orchids and the Marsh Fritillary butterfly (left).
intgrass.JPG (31636 bytes) At the other end of the scale is the intensive agricultural grassland. Ideally the land is flat which allows machinery to be used most efficiently. The soil should be well drained and fertile. The farmer will even optimise the pH of the soil by spreading lime on the land. To maximize grass production, the grass crop will have been sown using seed which has been carefully selected. Unlike crops such as cereals, a new grass crop does not have to be sown every year. It will only be re-seeded once the field becomes unproductive through lack of grass yield or because of weed infestation.



More on grass breeding and selection from the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER)