Hayfields

Hayfields. Land covered by cereal (eg, timothy, ryegrasses) and pulse (eg, red and pink clover) grasses that are used for various types of feed: hay, haylage, hay meal, and roughage. In 1984 the total hayland in Ukraine comprised 2,100,000 ha (4.3 percent of the republic's arable land and 6.1 percent of the USSR hayland).

About 25 percent of the hayland in Ukraine is sown; the rest is natural. Almost a half of the latter is dry land (yielding 12–15 centners per ha), and the rest is flooded (20–25 centners per ha) or low-lying (12–15 centners of acidic hay per ha). Tilled fields have a much higher yield—80–100 centners per ha.

Hayfields are unevenly distributed throughout Ukraine. They comprise 10 percent of all farmland in Polisia and the Carpathian region (see Carpathian Mountains), 5 percent in the forest-steppe, and 0.7 percent in the steppe. Regions with less hayland generally devote more land to other fodder forage crops such as tubers and corn. The area of hayland in Ukraine is steadily decreasing, while the fodder crop area is increasing. In 1913, 10,000,000 ha in Ukraine were devoted to fodder crops, of which 91 percent were hayland or pastureland. In 1959 fodder crops took up 17,700,000 ha, yet hayfields and pastures accounted for only 45 percent of the area (in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a whole, hayland accounted for as much as 83 percent of all fodder cropland). This trend in Ukraine can be explained by the move to intensive livestock farming, which increases the demand for feed. Since hay is one of the least productive fodder crops, it is increasingly being replaced by other types of fodder.

C. Freeland




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