Chinese grasslands are suffering considerable pressures from human and livestock populations. It has been estimated that 90% of Chinese grasslands are suffering from light to heavy levels of degradation. Livestock numbers on northern China's grasslands have increased dramatically as households seek to improve incomes. In Taipusi Banner in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China this has resulted in severe overgrazing and degradation to 90% of the 160,000 ha of typical steppe grassland. Current stocking rates are above those recommended. Sustainable grassland and livestock production requires a systems analysis of current farm practices and options. This paper examines current conditions and the results of a modelling study of a grassland system in Taipusi Banner. This shows that reducing stocking rates leads to not only opportunities to rehabilitate grasslands, but also to increases in whole-farm returns and livestock productivity. Additional benefits would accrue from changing lambing times from mid winter to late spring, and changing enterprises to fine-wool production, rather than mutton or cashmere. Cattle are kept but are considered a severe drain on resources and household incomes.
|Title of host publication||Development of sustainable livestock systems on grasslands in north-western China|
|Subtitle of host publication||Proceedings of a workshop held at the combined International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Conference, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 28 June 2008|
|Editors||D.R. Kemp, D.L. Michalk|
|Place of Publication||Canberra, ACT|
|Publisher||Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress - Hohhot, China, Hohhot, China|
Duration: 28 Jun 2008 → 28 Jun 2008
|Conference||XXI International Grassland Congress and VIII International Rangeland Congress|
|Period||28/06/08 → 28/06/08|
Zheng, Y., Xu, Z., Kemp, D., Shan, G., Tian, Q., & Xie, J. (2011). Public grazing systems on typical steppe grasslands in Taipusi Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In D. R. Kemp, & D. L. Michalk (Eds.), Development of sustainable livestock systems on grasslands in north-western China: Proceedings of a workshop held at the combined International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Conference, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 28 June 2008 (pp. 58-68). Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).