І. Cherven, N. Tsurkan
Introduction. Cost-effective production of agrarian products requires the obligatory improvement of cropping acreage structure to improve soil fertility. The livestock base must be taken into account at the same time and the needs of the livestock in the forage, including herbs. The aim of our study is a comprehensive assessment of the perennial grasses’ production development in the South of Ukraine and determining the amount of acreage of these crops which are necessary to ensure the needs of cattle in forage. The results of the research. The state of production development of perennial grasses on farms of the South of Ukraine is analyzed in retrospect. It is found out that the scientifically based standards of the structure of crop rotations are violated. It is established that in the conditions of uncontrolled business farmers are oriented towards the production of more profitable and marketable crop production, ignoring scientific standards and the world’s experience in agricultural production. At the same time the proportion of the areas of forage crops, including perennial grasses for hay and green fodder in the structure of total sown area in the South of Ukraine (1-2% at the rate of 8-10% in the rotation) remains unreasonably low. This also affects the deterioration of soil fertility. From year to year due to the lack of acreage of perennial leguminous grasses, such as alfalfa and sainfoin, the loss of organic nitrogen, is increaser while could have been accumulated in the soil, thereby reducing the use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers by growing the following crops in rotation after perennial grasses. The total reduction in the sown area to fodder crops is characterized by the simultaneous increase in the proportion of areas of perennial grasses, mainly legumes, in their structure. Insufficient quantity of areas for herbs reduces the production of forage production of these high protein crops, which slows down the development of livestock in the Southern Steppe and negatively affects the economic performance of the industry. In this regard, the simulation model of the number of cattle in this area up to 2020, is developed and also the calculation of the required areas under perennial grasses (for example, alfalfa) is carried out, on the basis of their normative consumption in terms of metabolic energy. All predicted indicators were obtained by following the trends that have occurred in these industries in recent years. It is set that keeping the same acreage of the total cultivated area, the proportion of the predicted area under perennial grasses in 2020 will meet scientifically-based standards (9,3%). Conclusion. The revival and development of the production of perennial grasses will allow sloving the complicated problem of how to improve the fertility of soils of the South of Ukraine, and enhance forage base for livestock.
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