grassland(redirected from Grassland biomes)
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land occupied by vegetation used for making hay, senazh (a preserved feed made from sun-dried grasses), silage, and grass meal and for grazing livestock. It includes natural hayfields and pastures (also woodland and improved pastures), deer pastures, idle field temporarily used for forage purposes, and land covered with scrub or bogs, as well as cultivated pastures. In the USSR in 1971 hayfields covered 46.5 million hectares (ha), pastures 328 million ha, deer pastures about 343 million ha, idle fields 3.2 million ha, woodland hay-fields and pastures about 20 million ha, improved hayfields and pastures more than 9 million ha, and cultivated pastures about 1.5 million ha. Most of the hay and pasture fodder is obtained from natural grassland, although it is often low in productivity and requires improvement (cultivation). Cultivated hayfields and pastures produce high yields of good-quality forage.
In foreign countries where livestock raising is well developed, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Democratic Republic, all farmland is cultivated and used to produce the fodder needed. The natural grasslands of some European countries are mountain pastures (Switzerland, Austria, France) or areas covered with scrub and small forests (Finland, Sweden, Norway). There are extensive grasslands in Canada, the United States (prairie), Latin America, and the tropics (savanna).