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In: Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration Editor: Hans G. Schroder

Short Communications

Sustainable Development of Prataculture and Ecological Rehabilitation via Shift from Grain Production to Vegetative Production in South China

Vegetative production is defined as a coupling between crop plant production as the primary product and livestock production as the endproduct in farmlands. The primary product is forage rather than grains that are often the traditional agricultural endproduct. Accordingly, vegetative production requirements for climatic resources are different from traditional grain production. In this study, climatic resources were compared between the north and south China. Traditional (grain) and vegetative (shoot) productions have many production aspects in common and also have differences in physiology, cost inputs, utilization efficiency of solar energy, and vegetative and grain yields. Advantages of vegetative production compared to traditional grain production are presented. Based on the differences of the requirements of irradiance between vegetative and traditional grain productions, enhanced development of vegetative production was proposed through utilization of existing grasslands and winter fallow croplands in south China. This new strategy promises to reduce runoff and loss of topsoil, decrease dust clouds, and restore a good portion of damaged ecosystems in China.

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