Formulation of the problem. Annual and perennial grasses are playing an important role in strengthening the fodder, that’s why researches which aimed to determining the condition and finding the ways to increase the productivity of phytocenoses of the arid zone are relevant.
The aim of our research was to determine the volumes of fodder grass production in the Mykolaiv region and the level of cattle feed security from them, as well as finding ways to form a stable yield and determine species with varieties of perennial grasses which are most adapted to the arid conditions of the south of Ukraine.
The results of research. Analysis of crop production shows that significant violations of the fundamental laws of agriculture, in particular the law of crop rotation, which adversely affects the conduct of forage production and animal husbandry. Thus, the area of forage crops for the period from 1990 to 2014 decreased by 31.3 percents. Almost the area under perennial grasses was reduced. In 2013 they accounted for only 1.26% of the total cultivated area, but the science-based is 8-10%. If in 1995 crops were harvested with annual and perennial grasses over 407,1 tones fodder unit., 52.3 tons of digestible protein, in 2014 year, these figures were decreased 7 to 10 times. During the period from 1995 to 2014 years was decreased provision of farm animals with hay and especially green fodder from perennial grasses.
Per one head of cattle in 2014 year was accounted for only 41 kg of fodder units herbal green fodder, wherever in 1995 year it consists 659 kg and in 2000 year it was 331 kg. In the seeded phytocenoses the yield of hay on average for the 2010-2013 years was fluctuated between 3,10 ± 0,15 tones per hectare and in cultural hayfields, this figure was less than half (1,59 ± 0,17 tones per hectare). Consequently we collected less feed in the feed units and digestible protein and metabolizable energy.
The mineral and organic fertilizers paid enough under the grass, and in some areas they do not contribute at all due to the high cost.
It was found that the most productive and adapted to the growing conditions plant in the south of Ukraine without irrigation among perennial grasses is brome, ryegrass tall and wheatgrass middle, among the perennial legumes the highest yield of air-dry matter (4.59 tones per hectare) was provided by herbage white clover. Yields exceeded alfalfa crops by 0.58 tones per hectare. Less of air-dried substance was formed by lotus horned (1.91 tones per hectare) and by clover meadow (1.92 tones per hectare).
Conclusions. Weather conditions of southern steppe of Ukraine are most favorable to grow brome, ryegrass tall, wheatgrass middle, alfalfa, clover white, sainfoin. Lotus corniculatus does not provide the formation of high level productivity and clover can not stand the heat, frost and moisture deficit in the South of Ukraine. The productivity of herbs is increases under the irrigation and use of mineral fertilizers.
Key words: perennial and annual grasses, the structure of sown areas, gross yield, yield, forage, digestible protein, livestock.