Final repor: activities, findings and conclusions of the Range Management Improvement Project 608-0145, Morocco

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Final repor: activities, findings and conclusions of the Range Management Improvement Project 608-0145, Morocco
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Logan, Utah
Utah State University ; USAID ; Ministere de l'Agriculture et de la Reforme Agraire, La Direction de l'Elevage
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Subjects / Keywords:
Africa ( LCSH )
Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
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Range Science Department
Utah State University
Logan, Utah


Minister de 1'Agriculture
et de la Reforme Agraire,
La Direction de 1'Elevage

August 1986






Range Science Department
Utah State University
Logan, Utah


Minister de 1'Agriculture
et de la Reforme Agraire,
La Direction de 1'Elevage

August 1986


Applied Research . . . . 2
Extension Program Development. . . . 4
Training . . . . .. . 5
The Plant Materials Center . . . 5

Applied Research Range Forage Production . 8
Applied Research Range Livestock Production . 12
Applied Research Sociology . . . 16
Applied Research Range Economics . . 18
Program Development Extension. .. . 21
Training . . . . . 22
The Plant Materials Center . . . 23

Introduction . . . . . 26
Identification of Major Forage Resources: Beni Mellal. 27
Identification of Major Forage Resources: Midelt 31
Identification of Major Forage Resources: Oujda. 33
Identification of Major Forage Recources: Timahdite. 40
Forage Production Alternatives . . .. 43
Results and Conclusions of Adaptability Trials by Site 45
Seeding and Planting Techniques. . . 52
Land Treatments. . . . . 59
Deferment from Grazing . . . . 67
Forage Quality of Annual Vegetation. . . 69
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 72

Introduction . . . . .. 78
Current Livestock Management Practices: Midelt . 82
Current Livestock Management Practices: Azrou. . 93
Current Livestock Management Practices: Beni Mellal. 101
Alternative Livestock Management Practices . 104
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 118

Introduction . . . . .. 128
Sample Selection: El Faija . . . 130
Characterization of Producers: El Faija. . 131
Assessment of Producer Resource Sets: El Faija . 132
Timahdite. . . . . . 147
Sample Selection . . . . 147
Characterization of Producers: Timahdite . 147
Assessment of Producer Resource Sets: Timahdite. 149
Ait Rbaa . . . . . 162
Sample Selection . . . . 162
Characterization of Producers: Ait Rbaa. . 162
Assessment of Producer Resource Sets: Ait Rbaa . 165
Ain Beni Mathar. . . . . 174
Characterization of Producers: Ain Beni Mathar . 174
Assessment of Producer Resource Sets: Ain Beni Mathar. 177
Summary of Model Production Units: Ain Beni Mathar .179

Assessment of Producer Perceptions of Current Production
Systems. . . . . ... . 188
Assessment of Producer Expectations. . . 191
Assessment of Producer Perceptions of Needs, Limitations,
Issues and Opportunities . . . 192
Assessment of Social and Cultural Influences on Livestock
and Crop Production and the Acceptance of New
Technology . . . . .. 194

Introduction . . . . .. 200
Results. .. . . ..... . 202
Conclusions and Recommendations. ... . .. 224
Literature Cited . . . . 226

Introduction . . . 228
Summary of Information and Development into Livestock
Production System Models for Identification of
Intervention Opportunities . . . 228
Extension Program: Direct Interventions . 228
Extension Program: Teaching Revegetation Techniques and
Animal Husbandry . . . . 235
Development of Extension Materials . . 241
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 242

CHAPTER SIX: TRAINING. . .. . . .. 245
Introduction . . . . .. 246
Long-term Degree Training. . . . 246
Short-term Training. . . . . 246
Administrative Short Course. . . . 248
In-country Seminars. .... . . .. 248
Professional Meetings. . . . . 249
Computer Training Seminars . . . 253
Sheep Selection Training at Oujda and Safi . 253
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 253

Introduction . . . . .. 256
Development at the PMC . . . . 257
Results. . . . . . 262
On-site Nursery Operation by the Oujda Office. . 264
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 267

Introduction . . . . .. 270
Project Commodities. . . . . 270
Plant Materials Center . . . . 271
Informational Resources. . . . .. 274
Construction . . .. . . 277
Microcomputer Room . . . . 279
Conclusions and Recommendations. . . 281

APPENDICES. . . . . . 283
Appendix A: Project Staff and Contributers . 284
Appendix B: List of Abbrevations Used. . . 287
Appendix C: Arabic Words Used in the Text. . 288
Appendix D: Documents Written by Project Personnel and
Available in the DE/SP Library . . 289





The Range Management Improvement Project (RMIP) (USAID
Project #608-0145) began in March 1981 and ended in August 1986.
The project was implemented by Utah State University (USU) under
a host country contract with the Direction de l'Elevage (DE) of
the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MARA), and was
directed at strengthening the institutional capability of the
Service de l'Amenagement et de la Mise en Valeur des Terrains de
Parcours (DE/SP).

The RMIP was designed to assist in the planning and
implementation of extension programs in range management and
range livestock improvement. The specific goal was to improve
both livestock production and production efficiency and thereby
increase the incomes of Moroccan livestock producers.

The first project evaluation was carried out in January 1984
and, based on the need for quantified information and
recommendations of the evaluation team, resulted in various
changes in the project design. A more concretely defined
strategy emerged and the RMIP management structure was
reorganized to ensure improved coordination. The redesigned
project consisted of four components:

applied research,
long- and short-term training, and
the development of a Plant Materials Center (PMC).

Project activities were centered in five provincial offices
of the Service de 1'Elevage: Beni Mellal, Meknes, Midelt, Oujda
and El Jadida. The geographic location of these sites of field
activity are indicated on the map of northern Morocco presented
as Figure 1.

RMIP COMPONENT ONE: Applied Research

It had become obvious in the early years of project
implementation that it was necessary to undertake certain
research tasks in order to develop a credible extension and range
management program. DE/SP effectiveness depended upon further
developing the capability to plan, implement and evaluate
research efforts and to utilize the research results. In order
to assist the DE/SP in meeting information needs, the RMIP
applied research activities focused on:

evaluating current production systems,
analyzing production problems,
identifying viable production alternatives, and
determining methods of information transfer that would
assure acceptance of superior alternatives.

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Specifically, evaluating and analyzing current production
systems and problems involved:

identifying the sources and seasonal availability of
livestock feed and forage including natural vegetation,
fallow, crop residues and supplemental feeds, and
estimating production parameters, estimates of total
livestock production and production efficiency by level
of management.

Identifying viable production alternatives included:

estimating current and alternative livestock/crop
production costs and returns,
assessing potential alternatives including the seeding of
marginal cropland and selected range sites, manipulating
the soil surface to enhance moisture infiltration and
grazing management, and
balancing animal nutritional requirements with available
forage and feeds, culling and selection programs and
synchronization and timing of lambing.

Determining acceptance of superior alternatives involved:

identifying producer perceptions of resource availability
and the current production system, and
determining the social and cultural ramifications for
technological production alternatives.

Models of the current livestock and forage production
systems in the various zones were needed in order to gain more
complete understanding of production problems and to provide
means of simulating the effects of production alternatives.
Through the research effort the project strengthened the ability
of DE/SP staff to improve range management practices and assure
active producer participation.


The RMIP applied research program was designed to create the
basis of a functional extension program. Extension program
development relied on:

developing audience profiles from the stratification of
the producer population,
assessing production and profit estimates of current
production systems by audience, and
identifying intervention opportunities and potential
acceptance of alternative strategies.

Once information had been synthesized, extension program
implementation involved:

formulating technical interventions relevant to the
identified audiences,
planning an extension program based on those

interventions, and
evaluating audience response.

Thus, an extension effort was started to address critical
producer needs for forage resources and animal management. The
extension materials developed from the RMIP research are
appropriate for the range livestock production systems in
Morocco. DE/SP staff have been trained to continue the program
and have been instrumental in its establishment.

RMIP COMPONENT THREE: Long- and Short-Term Training

Since continued program success depends upon the capability
and credibility of DE/SP staff, training may well prove to be the
most essential component of the project. Training efforts made
through RMIP included:

long-term degree training in the U.S.,
short-course training in the U.S., and
administrative, computer and extension seminars in

Specifically, through long-term training,

RMIP participants were to receive MS degrees in range
management, extension and rural sociology. All of these
participants were to complete their programs and to be
contributing to the range management and range livestock
improvement program of MARA by the end of the project.

Through short-term training,

non-degree training in range management and extension
practices was to be provided in the U.S. for DE
technicians and administrators,
two one-week technical seminars were to be sponsored
through the RMIP in collaboration with other Moroccan
institutions, and
one-day RMIP seminars were to be sponsored at different
sites throughout the country to train local DE

Again, in terms of long-term impact, training may prove to
be the most successful RMIP component.

RMIP COMPONENT FOUR: The Plant Materials Center

The Plant Materials Center (PMC) was created as a support
facility for the RMIP research and extension efforts. In
addition, the PMC was designed with the long-range objective of
multiplying seeds of forage species and (as more producer needs
were identified) of producing fuel and fodder shrubs for
revegetating Moroccan rangelands. Thus, the PMC functions

producing seed of range forage species,
developing a shrub seed production nursery and increasing
shrub production for the perimeters,
producing certified seed for the National Seed Marketing
Company (SONACOS) to generate revenue and introduce the
PMC to the certification system, and

The most essential function of the PMC may prove to be
collecting and assessing native and exotic species by:

establishing nursery plots for collected native species,
evaluating and multiplying the most promising species,
establishing pilot production of breeder seed,
training range technicians in native plant collection
techniques, and
developing a collection program for all of Morocco.

As a well-equipped operating facility capable of identifying
and producing plant materials, the PMC can also assess the
possible economic value of native and exotic forage species for
Morocco. With its well-trained staff in place, the PMC can
contribute leadership and technical expertise to the development
of plant material quality standards in Morocco.





Nearly 600,000 families (with an average family size of
eight) or approximately 4.8 million Moroccans depend directly on
sheep and goat production for their livelihood. For this reason,
the current levels of productivity and efficiency of range
livestock production systems in Morocco are grounds for concern
at the national level. Not only do these families form one of
the lowest income groups in society, but also, the production
practices they employ have serious, negative, long-term impacts
on land resources that serve the needs of society. These

excessive erosion and sediment production associated with
the continual degradation of rangeland,
the resulting increase in xeric conditions at the point of
origin, and
the resulting reduction in the productive life of
reservoirs and intensive agricultural developments

Moroccan rangelands are situated over diverse climatic and
ecological zones and productive rangelands can often be converted
to marginal croplands. Therefore, more and more rangeland is
being converted to cultivated cereal crops each year by a rapidly
expanding population despite the fact that little or no profit
from subsequent grain harvests can be realized.

Since crops provide a standing forage crop even as stubble,
Moroccan producers compensate for poor range forage productivity
by producing a very marginal cereal crop while simultaneously
controlling the land for their personal use. Cereal crop
subsidies and land tenure policy by the Moroccan Government
encourage this practice and, as a result, pastoralism has nearly
completely given way to an agro-pastoral way of life to the
detriment of rangeland productivity and the communal rangeland

Major findings resulting from the RMIP indicate the extent
to which rangeland degradation and deterioration of livestock
production have occurred in Morocco. Detailed descriptions and
recommendations for future actions follow.

RMIP COMPONENT ONE: Applied Research

Findings: Range Forage Production

Where productive rangeland has been converted to poor
cropland, pasturage is scarce. What rangeland remains is
excessively used, usually in the complete absense of any kind of
management or control. A vivid example of this abuse can be
noted at Ait Rbaa Perimeter which is located in the midst of a
large agricultural area dominated by irrigated and dryland crop

production. Much of the forage which animals at Ait Rbaa consume
is comprised of crop
residues and weedy fallow. Afterharvest, shepherds herd large
flocks through cropland to eat stubble and weeds. However, when
planting begins the livestock must withdraw from the cereal
fields. They are then herded onto a relatively small area of
communal rangeland where they quickly consume emerging
vegetation. Under this excessive grazing pressure, the range
continues to deteriorate and the herds must receive large amounts
of supplemental feeds including barley, straw and residual
products from agricultural processing factories such as sugar
beet pulp and cottonseed based feeds.

Thus, many Moroccan rangelands are generally devoid of the
original stands of palatable, perennial, herbaceous vegetation.
Many forage species, both legumes and grasses, which were
reported during the earlier USAID Range Improvement Project (608-
64-4) could not be located by a former team member of that
project, Mr. Walter Graves, during his TDY visit in 1985.

Project staff also noted that soils on grazing perimeters
were so severely eroded and compacted that moisture rarely
penetrated sufficiently enough to establish forage plants even in
years of greater than average rainfall.

In attempting to increase water penetration through the soil
surface and to revegetate selected rangelands, the following
range improvement practices proved to be potentially useful:
ripping of the soil and construction of contour terraces,
use of shrubs and herbaceous species (native and
introduced) for revegetation, and
use of conventional disc, plow and roller seedbed
preparation methods in seeding during years of below
average precipitation.

Specifically, ripping of the soil and the construction of
terraces on the contour were highly successful range improvements
installed at Fritiss (Ain Beni Mathar), Gouttitier and Ait Rbaa
Perimeters. Although not a year old, ripping and terracing
activities at the El Faija Perimeter appear to have markedly
encouraged revegetation and increased forage production.

Experience indicates that seeding of most introduced species
on small plots of marginal cropland is an intervention that is
generally too risky to be assumed by private producers. A farmer
would rather have a poor stand of barley or wheat from which he
may obtain grain and stubble annually than a year of limited or
no use which he considers lost. Furthermore, success in
establishing perennial forage species has been limited due to
competition from weeds on old fields and low amounts of
precipitation. Thus, establishment of perennial, introduced
species has been generally difficult and expensive.

Stands which have become established, such as those in the
perimeters administered by the Midelt Office, are the result of
adequate seasonal precipitation and few problems such as seed
quality and competition from weedy species. Although a number of

stands composed of introduced species from the genus Agropyron
are managed at Plaine de l'Aarid Perimeter, the condition of
these stands has undergone substantial deterioration in recent
years (many of the stands are over 10 years old). Juvenile
plants appear to be lacking and the remaining mature plants are
decadent with some stands in need of renovation.

In addition, warm-season grasses, including native species,
have proven difficult to establish on Moroccan rangelands. Seeds
of warm-season grasses are generally small and relatively
expensive. Successful establishment depends upon adequate
precipitation during and after germination, and planting depth
must be carefully controlled by technicians. The possibility of
failure is too great to make this a viable alternative unless
techniques are improved.

Species adaptability trials are a vital component to the
success of future range seeding efforts. There will always be
new species, both introduced and native, that will require
testing and evaluation. Species must be evaluated for seed
germination and seedling establishment, the keys to successful
stand establishment. Adaptability of the species to local
conditions, including grazing tolerance, is essential to
longevity and persistence of seedings. Forage productivity along
with stand longevity affect the economic feasibility of seeding
efforts. The results of the RMIP trials have shown substantial
differences in adaptability and productivity among varieties
within species.

In particular, the overall poor performance of introduced
species was in contrast to the relative vitality of the few
native species within the trials and found in growing locally in
various protected areas. This observation prompted a change in
project emphasis from solely evaluation of introduced species to
additional efforts in the research and development of native

The potential of plants native to Morocco is the most
promising aspect of the RMIP work with range forage species.
Among these plants are ecotypes highly adapted to climatic,
grazing and soil conditions on the grazing perimeters. Among
accessions from the native seed collection being propogated at
the PMC and undergoing trials at the perimeters are annual
species which have the ability to produce the large numbers of
seed necessary to maintain a presence on managed communal
rangeland. These include leguminous annuals, especially from the
genus Medicago, which exhibit sprawling forms and subterranian
fruits capable of persisting under heavy grazing pressure. These
species characteristically produce forage of high quality and
large numbers of seeds in protective pods. The use of native
annuals may be one key to reducing the risk of failure of a range
revegetation investment in some zones.

Several basic range planting techniques were tested in the
Midelt area. The conclusion drawn was that conventional seedbed
preparation methods using a plow, disc and roller were most
successful during the years methods were tested (generally lower

than average precipitation periods). The rangeland drill, which
scarifies soil surface and seeds in areas of rough topography,
did not prove effective during drought years because seedbeds
were inadequate for seed germination and seedling establishment
under marginal soil moisture conditions. Where interseeding with
the rangeland drill in sagebrush stands was attempted, seedlings
could not compete with established plants for limited moisture.

Recommendations: Range Forage Production

The need for range management and the adherence to basic
ecological concepts needs to be observed throughout the grazing
perimeters studied. This can only be affected through the
cooperation of the people using the resource. Benefits that
accrue to producers must be developed and demonstrated in order
to reverse the trend toward further resource degradation. Thus,
proper management of grazing must occur if the range forage
resource is to improve.

Specific conclusions include:

Range improvement is possible through manipulating the
soil surface and redistributing water. Soil ripping and
construction of contour terraces should be considered
prior to seeding rangelands. Where native residual plant
cover still exists, the treatment can be used to capture
rainfall and increase productivity without seeding.

Range improvement research is essential. DE/SP must
either decide to dedicate personnel and materials to
research or make the proper contractual agreements to
continue range research in identified topical areas
through the auspices of such existing research
organizations and programs as INRA, INAV, ENA or the

Species adaptability trials should continue. Comparisons
of standard introduced varieties and newly released
varieties as well as comparisons among native species
should proceed. Despite unpredictable weather
conditions, it is essential that trials continue to be
planted and evaluated, preferably on a yearly basis.

Coordination is mandatory between local offices and the
PMC. The PMC research supervisor must keep personnel at
the grazing perimeters informed of the details of the PMC
production program. Otherwise little success can be
expected from the PMC.

A combination of range improvement techniques and
development of adapted forage species can improve the
possibilities of successful revegetation. Only through reducing
the risk of rangeland seeding can seeding of denuded range and
submarginal cropland become a viable alternative for producers.
The acceptance of rangeland management in the private sector,
however, is not the only consideration. Large-scale government

direction and investment is necessary in order to conserve the
dwindling Moroccan range resource.

The continual push of dryland farming into more and more
marginally productive areas has accounted for an irreparable loss
of topsoil and the local extinction of many forage plant species.
Government intervention and expenditure will be necessary to save
soil and vegetation even if only to protect watersheds. The
continued emphasis on dryland farming by the Moroccan Government
and USAID without a balanced effort in the rangeland production
sector is a policy which encourages environmental degradation of
natural resources in Morocco. Social and economic consequences
of policies that foster unwise land use will undoubtedly be felt
at the national level through increased rural poverty and urban

Findings: Range Livestock Production

Livestock populations in Morocco consist primarily of sheep
with smaller numbers of goats, cattle, camels, horses, mules and
donkeys. Livestock production systems and levels of production
varied across the country. Based on information gathered through
project efforts, the following conclusions can be drawn:

level of livestock management is reflected by the producer
income levels,
types of forage resource and times of use vary among
producers and project sites,
currently applied animal health care practices are more
curative than preventive, and
particular problems in sheep management and production
exist across the country.

Specifically, livestock management is reflected by the
producers' income levels in several respects:

the high-income producers generally provide more
intensive management through use of multiple flocks and
forage sources making feeding of supplements and
administering animal health care more feasible; and
low-income producers maintain only one flock in which all
animals are generally treated equally and animal husbandry
practiced is quite poor.

While all producers feed their livestock supplements
sometime during the year, the degree to which animal species,
class and stage of reproduction are differentiated and the amount
of supplements fed varies among producers. Producers at the
higher income levels utilize supplemental feeds to a greater
advantage and often to a greater extent than do poorer producers.

Types of forage resources and times of use vary among
producers and locations. Animal movement and forage used are
dictated by what resources are available. Producers use
preferred resources first and then move on to less desirable
sites as the forage availability diminishes. The more prosperous

the producer, the more abundant and flexible are his
opportunities to find adequate forage to meet livestock needs.
For example, mid- and high-income producers have access to crop
residues and are able to haul or herd flocks to leased land to
graze, and low-income producers are limited to the forage
available on communal land where available forage is generally
insufficient to meet livestock nutritional needs.

Animal health care practices are most often curative rather
than preventive and, throughout Morocco, livestock are penned at
night. While these corrals provide good protection from
predators, the permanence of the structures and negligence in
keeping them clean results in many health-related problems.
Animals treated for internal parasites are immediately returned
to the same corrals and grazing areas used before treatment. The
animals are thus immediately re-exposed to parasite eggs and
larvae and soon become infested again. Furthermore, during
discussions with producers throughout Morocco a common concern
was raised over the quality and effectiveness of the animal
health care provided by the government. Why these concerns were
voiced is unknown and no effort was made to determine the

Particular problems in sheep management and production
across the country include:

excessive numbers of low quality breeding rams,
late weaning of lambs,
lambing at times when mortality is high,
low levels of animal nutrition,
poor sheep selection practices, and
low quality wool.

Specifically, producers in Morocco generally keep an
excessive number of rams in their flocks year round allowing
indiscriminate breeding. This practice is unnecessary resulting
in inefficient use of forage and lambing at various times
throughout the year with little or no selection for genetic
improvement. Ram-to-ewe ratios vary but are often around 1:20.

Intentionally weaning lambs is a management practice rarely
used by Moroccan livestock producers. Project studies showed
that by early weaning of lambs, producers could receive the
health, nutritional and reproductive benefits without a reduction
in lamb growth and development. The combination of a grazing
management program coupled with early weaning allowed young lambs
access to quality forage and reduced the time required to reach a
marketable size while ewes remained in better condition allowing
them to breed back more readily.

Across project sites, lambs are born throughout the year
with a higher incidence of births during the spring, fall, and
winter months. Most lambs are born during periods when the risk
of mortality is high. The incidence of lambing intervals that
exceeded 13 months was common. This primarily reflected a lack
of sufficient forage to meet the ewes' nutritional requirements
for reproduction.

Death losses occurred year round but a higher incidence of
deaths occurred during the late fall and winter when the weather
was harsh and forage was limited. Producers reported normal
death loss to be 7% to 9% for lambs and 3% to 4% for breeding
animals while the project producer study subsample experienced a
6.9% lamb loss.

Poor sheep selection practices and reproduction problems
were common at all project sites. Problems encountered included:

ram infertility,
producer failure to identify production and reproduction
related problems in animals for selection of replacement
ewes, breeding rams and cull animals; and
poor management of animal nutrition.

Specifically, ram fertility problems were found at all
project sites and 22% of 217 rams checked for reproductive
problems were to be determined sterile or nearly so.
Reproductive problems encountered ranged from low sperm motility
and concentration to cryptorchidism in rams. Project and SR-CRSP
staff trained technicians to recognize ram reproductive problems
and a voluntary program for checking producers' rams is in the
initial phase.

The criteria for the selection of lambs as replacement ewes
were so different around the country that many undesirable
animals remain in producers' flocks. Out of 3,942 breeding
animals examined in the project classification and selection
program, 26% were rated as inferior animals, and 15% of all
animals examined were incapable of reproduction. Unproductive
animals require the same investment in forage resources,
supplemental feed and medical care as productive animals at the
cost of reduced efficiency and profits to the producers.

The low nutritional status which animals suffer as a result
of insufficient forage resources produces a severely depressed
reproductive capacity. Few, if any, animals are allowed to
express genetic potential for production. In addition, measured
weight losses of animals were due to inadequate forage quantity
and, possibly, quality. Ewes weights were monitored for a year
and most lost weight during the last trimester of gestation with
some showing weight loss throughout the entire gestation period.

The weight changes experienced by ewes in the producer study
indicated that the ewes gained weight in the spring and lost
weight during the remainder of the year regardless of the lambing
date. This pattern is in sharp contrast to the weight changes
expected in an average ewe's reproductive cycle and has a
substantial negative impact on overall reproductive performance.

Wool grades in sheep at project sites were generally low.
Fleece grades ranged from 40 to 60 with most being between 40 and
50. Kemp and/or hair was present in roughly two-thirds of the
fleeces. Despite demand for quality wool stemming from the
Moroccan carpet industry, livestock producers generally consider

wool a by-product of animal production and have little interest
in its improvement because each individual producer deals with a
relatively small quantity.

Recommendations: Range Livestock Production

Based upon observations and experience gained at the various
project sites, it is recommended that research and extension
programs include aspects to increase forage productivity and to
improve animal husbandry practices. Significant improvement in
forage production and, subsequently, animal production can be
expected in many areas through grazing management combined with
improved animal management practices.

Given the limited number of trained professionals and the
scarcity of program funds in Morocco, it is essential that
efforts of the range management personnel be concentrated in
areas where an attitude of local concern and cooperation exists.
In some areas, livestock producers have recognized the value of
formally organizing themselves to try and deal with common range
management and livestock production problems. These are the
areas where production problems can be successfully addressed.
Once groups are formally organized and grazing management is
established by the group of producers and technicians, range
development projects such as seeding and other forage improvement
efforts can be planned and implemented. Under these
circumstances the expenditure of limited development funds is

Improved animal husbandry practices that should be
considered include:

timing lambing periods to coincide with periods of
increased forage production so as to better utilize
available resources, improve ewe condition and reduce
producers' dependence on costly supplemental feeds;
culling unproductive ewes to allow productive animals more
available forage;
separating rams from the ewes except during a specified
breeding season thus enabling producers to better
synchronize lambing periods and other critical nutritional
periods with times of high forage availability;
preventing inferior rams from breeding by such separation
or by practicing the short scrotum technique for
ridding herds of other unproductive members and
encouraging producers to select for high quality
productive animals and not just increased animal numbers;
establishing superior breeding herds through a selection
and classification program and banding sheep into larger
flocks when appropriate to increase livestock production
efficiency; and
establishing extension programs to train producers in
preventive animal health care which could ensure that
treatments are scheduled when animals are moved to new
pastures and corrals thereby disrupting parasite life


In addition, extension program efforts should be made in the
areas of:

wool quality improvement and marketing, and
goat production.

Since wool quality characteristics (degree of contamination
with kemp and hair, fleece weight, staple length and fiber
diameter) are some of the most heritable traits in sheep, wool
quality could be rapidly improved through herd selection.
Improved wool quality, coupled with improved marketing through
quality control and pooling of fleeces), could aid Moroccan
producers in meeting the local demand for carpet grade wool.
The Moroccan carpet industry currently imports approximately
20,000 metric tons of carpet grade wool annually at hard currency
cost because Moroccan wool does not meet quality standards
established in the world market and the supply is dispersed in
relatively small quantities over the entire nation. Development
of wool cooperatives for accumulating, grading, pooling and
marketing of wool could lead to mutual benefits for both
producers and the export carpet industry in terms of employment,
prices and raw materials importation issues.

Producers with limited resources may be well advised to
raise animals that can produce on the resources available instead
of attempting to raise animals that require supplemental feeds at
costs that are difficult to recover. More effort should be
expended in exploring the potential of goats for efficiently
producing meat and fiber. Although the project effort to compare
goat and sheep production on limited resources was not
conclusive, it is possible that goats are capable of higher and
more efficient production than sheep under severe conditions.

Findings: Sociological Research

The sociological research carried out under the project
sought to:

determine producer perceptions of their production
needs and constraints, and
identify social constraints to the adoption of new

Coordinated and systematic project-wide studies were
undertaken in the spring of 1985 and continued throughout the
final 18 months of the project. Staffing arrangements allowed
Moroccan personnel to gain direct experience in conducting social
research in relation to range management and livestock management
improvement. The RMIP social research teams were involved in two
major work activities:

an on-going study of prices of agricultural commodities in
local souks (weekly markets) to identify prices relevant
to local producers, and

a series of case studies of producers within producer
categories thought to represent the range of production
systems found at each site.

Producer perceptions of the market values of crops and
livestock products were similar to those found in most societies
-- "prices are lower than they were several years ago". There
seems to be a tendency to remember the "good" times and to regard
them as the norm. In reality prices are generally higher than
ever but real profits are lower because of increased production
costs and inflation.

Producer perceptions of their production environment
generally centered on the issues of low productivity and their
limited ability to provide for proper nutrition and health care
of animals due to high costs. Drought and overstocking were
identified as major problems associated with low productivity but
were deemed beyond the individual's control. Most producers felt
that conditions were gradually worsening over time. Producers
felt that drought was keeping the production of supplemental
feeds low and, therefore, keeping feed prices high. Animal
health programs were valued and thought to be needed, however,
many producers were sceptical about the effectiveness of existing
programs and were not aware of the management aspects necessary
for effective disease and parasite control programs.

Social constraints related to marketing of products were
few. However, the market limitation affecting controlled
breeding of livestock (generally accomplished through castration
of males not kept for breeding) was important. Male animals are
marketed with the testicles intact on the carcass and demand a
higher price than do female animals. Likewise, docking of tails
as a sanitation measure is not appropriate since tails on
carcasses are a traditional means by which consumers
differentiate sheep carcasses from goat carcasses.

Constraints to acceptance of new technology were generally
not found to be cultural. An exception is the aversion within
the culture to undertaking any management practices that results
in animals bleeding from an open wound. This limitation
disallows docking of tails or castration and affects sanitation
and controlled breeding efforts. Other constraints to acceptance
of technology are generally centered around individual producer
resource limitations or scale and producer dependence on common
resources. Individual actions involving communally owned
resources have essentially no effect. Group actions are needed
under these circumstances and, unfortunately, the traditional
mechanisms for control and management of communal resources (such
as the jema'a) have, for all practical purposes, disappeared in
many areas.

Recommendations: Sociological Research

Dealing with limitations to the acceptance of new technology
is therefore related to introducing techniques for improving
management that fit within the existing cultural constraints and

that encourage management of communally owned resources. In the
case of controlled breeding of animals, bloodless male
sterilization techniques that do not remove the testicles are in
order. The short-scotum technique introduced through the project
is one appropriate approach to accomplishing controlled breeding.
Another approach to this issue as well as many other animal and
range management issues is the formation of producer cooperatives
on communal land whereby it is possible and practical to form
larger herds according to animal class. Through this practice,
breeding animals can be herded separately from market animals and
managed according to the specific needs of the animal class.
This also allows for the control and management of grazing. Such
group efforts have been successfully tried at the Fritiss Grazing
Perimeter near Ain Beni Mathar. The key to improved range and
animal management is involvement of the producers as a group that
can and is willing to act in the interest of the entire group.

Findings: Economic Analysis

The objectives of the economic analysis were to:

identify economically feasible alternatives that would
increase production and production efficiency of livestock
systems in Morocco, and
estimate the magnitude of production and ultimate net
income increases given a range of producer accepted
alternative production strategies.

The economic analysis process consisted of:

development of a descriptive model that could be used for
budgeting and partial budgeting based on production
parameters, the costs of resources used in production and
the prices of products;
integration of biological and socioeconomic information
in order to identify feasible alternative range and
livestock management practices; and
comparison of alternatives in terms of investment
costs and the subsequent increases in forage production
required to produce a given real rate of return on

Data pertaining to the productivity of existing livestock
production systems were collected in each of the four project
areas and included estimates of:

herd structure and productivity,
feed and forage resources used,
revenue from livestock production,
livestock production costs,
crop productivity,
revenue from crop production,
crop production costs,
income and costs from other activities,
production system net revenue, and
forage use efficiency.

The analysis of the production systems identified basic
economic problems in Moroccan livestock production including high
production costs and low productivity. High production costs
result from the dependence on expensive sources of feeds for
maintaining animals and supporting unproductive animals. Low
levels of productivity result from:

abusive land use practices,
outdated animal and grazing management practices, and
resource limitations (biological and financial).

While these problems of high production costs and low
productivity were common to both livestock and crop
production, the project emphasized livestock production
alternatives thereby balancing other more widespread efforts in
Morocco directed toward solving agronomic problems. Alternatives
addressed livestock production costs in two major areas:

improved animal husbandry and management, and
increased production of range forage as a substitute
for high cost feeds.

Production costs could be reduced through culling of non-
productive animals, adjusting management to reduce disease and
parasite infestation, and managing feed and forage resources
based on animal requirements (supplemental feeding programs and
practices such as early weaning).

When range forage is valued as a substitute for supplemental
feeds and sites having adequate inherent potential are treated,
economically feasible increases in range forage production are
possible through various practices. Based on studies initiated
as project activities, management practices considered as viable
approaches on specific sites include:

grazing management,
contour terracing,
shrub planting,
seeding with the rangeland drill,
seeding by conventional methods, and
combinations of these practices.

The degree to which improvement practices can be applied on
rangeland is determined to a great extent on the capacity of the
land to produce forage. In the RMIP analysis, approximately 70%
of the rangeland in Morocco was considered to have limited
potential for forage production because of aridity. These lands
were considered for improvement only through investment in
extensive practices such as grazing management. The expected
average increase in available forage production through grazing
management alone was conservatively estimated to be 57%. The
remaining 30% of the land was considered to to have adequate
production potential to qualify for more investment intensive
improvement practices. The potential average forage production

increase on these lands was conservatively estimated to be 200%.

Recommendations: Economic Analysis

There are probably many biological and economically feasible
ways in addition to those attempted through the RMIP by which
animal and forage production can be increased. The critical
element is the degree of interest and desire that producers have
in improving their situation. Producers can be successfully
assisted in improving their animals and range resources but it is
highly doubtful that improvement can be handed to them. Producer
involvement and participation in all phases of development
including investment is needed to ensure that the commitment to
improvement exists.

The effect of improved management of livestock production
systems can be important at the local and broader regional or
national levels. For example, even at a relatively low yet
perhaps realistic level of producer acceptance of 25%,
substantial improvement in average production (33%), production
efficiency (44%) and, more importantly, net revenue could be
expected. The average increase in net revenue per family member
is projected to be 49% at the 25% adoption level and is estimated
to be much higher as producer acceptance increases.

Estimates of average national annual production and product
value based on 25% producer acceptance would result in
substantial increases in production (33%) and product value (32%)
thus contributing to the long-term possibility of reestablishing
export markets for meat and meat products and so strengthening
the national economy.

The following actions are needed to strengthen the efforts
to improve range management and livestock production:

a national strategy accompanied by clear statements of
policy should be formed to serve as a guide for the
development of programs that are of high interest to
producers and have high levels of improvement potential;
a systematic approach to planning and evaluation of
programs should be established to ensure that local
programs are effective in addressing the policy goals of
the national strategy and that a systematic approach be
used to analyze problems and alternatives;
development efforts should be directed in those areas
where producer interest and commitment is high and at
those investment opportunities that directly and quickly
increase production;
recipients of development assistance should be required to
participate in the financing of developments in some form
to ensure their involvement and commitment;
efforts to increase the amount of biological, social and
economic information on range and livestock production
systems should be strengthened along with the lines of
communication among professionals working in research,
education, extension and management; and

a national commitment should be made to continue the
search for better development applications in semiarid and
arid zones.


Findings: Extension Program Development

The project extension program development relied on:

determining audience profiles,
assessing current production systems, and
identifying potential interventions and producer
acceptance of alternatives.

In regard to audience profiles, essentially two producer
audiences exist in the extensive livestock sector in each region:

high-income producers who comprise a small group of
families with most of the wealth and income-producing
capability, and
low-income producers who make up the majority and control
only small resource sets with a low capability of
producing income.

This resource distribution pattern affects the design and
implementation of range and livestock extension programs as both
audiences have divergent needs and varying abilities to respond
to proposed interventions. Producers controlling most of the
private land can benefit from programs providing crop and
rangeland improvements including improved crop varieties, range
seeding, terracing, water spreading and development, herd
improvement, animal health and animal selection. Producers with
less control over resources would benefit from cooperative
organizations through which they can improve the management of
collective land to which they have access allowing programs such
as animal health, animal selection, range improvements, and
record-keeping and analysis to be implemented.

In assessing current production systems, the principal
production constraint for the majority of Moroccan producers does
not appear to be a lack of interest in new technology nor a
desire to produce by traditional methods but rather a resource
base so small that it cannot produce a profit that allows the
producer to raise or, in many cases, even maintain his standard
of living.

Small ruminants form the basis for the production system in
the arid and semiarid zones of Morocco. In these zones, the
potential for major increases in grain production is limited by
inherently low productive potential determined by climate and
soils and of local significance only in the context of its
integration into the livestock production scheme. Project
extension efforts were therefore directed primarily towards
livestock production and improving forage crop production. This

was a reversal of current Moroccan government programs in which
the focus of extension has been directed primarily on crop
production for grain. Producer interest was the criteria thought
to be the most important determinant to acceptance.

Recommendations: Extension Program Development

Based on project experience, the necessary ingredients to
successful range extension program development in Morocco are:

organization of collective rangeland users into entities
that are capable of managing the range resource,
continuous effort to develop and test new range and
livestock improvement practices that benefit producers,
development of programs that introduce technology that
provides benefits to the producers in the short-term and
that will open the door to introduction of technology that
provides long-term benefits to the producers and society.

An example of an appropriate extension program initiated by
RMIP personnel is the animal selection program carried out with
the producers at the Fritiss Perimeter near Ain Beni Mathar. The
producers quickly learned how to apply animal selection criteria
for herd improvement and realized benefits of the program through
savings in production costs and improved animal production
efficiency and quality.


The training component was one of the most successful
aspects of the project. Combined with the training achievements
realized through other assistance projects, a substantial number
of individuals who received either short-term or long-term
training in disciplines pertinent to range and livestock
development are now in place. These people will have an
important influence on future development efforts in Morocco.

Findings: Long-Term Training

Through RMIP efforts, a total of 11 people were trained to
the MS level in range management, extension or rural sociology.
These individuals have all returned to be assigned in various
locations around Morocco.

Recommendations: Long-Term Training

Training efforts should continue in order to fill specific
areas where trained people are needed (such as sheep and wool
production), to replace individuals leaving the workforce and to
increase the total number of trained professionals involved in
range and livestock development. The number of individuals
needed should be projected based on the national strategy for

development and management set by MARA and DE.

Findings: Short-Term Training

Short-term training was an effective training tool in the
overall training effort. Special workshops, seminars and
shortcourses provided the kinds of "hands on" experience needed
by many of the technicians involved. A total of 98 person-months
of training in range and livestock management, extension, plant
materials production or farm management were provided for DE
technicians and administrators. In addition, two one-week
technical seminars and numerous one-day seminars were held at
various locations in Morocco.

Recommendations: Short-Term Training

While short-term training was not an adequate substitute for
degree training, it did serve a very useful purpose. It provided
technicians with experience that builds confidence and technical
credibility. Short-term training, both in Morocco and in other
locations, should be continued. In-country technical seminars or
in-service training sessions raise skill levels, give technical
staff an opportunity to learn of different approaches to solving
similar problems and provide the mechanism for open discussion of
technical and professional issues.

RMIP COMPONENT FOUR: The Plant Materials Center

The development of the Plant Materials Center represents the
primary effort in development of physical structures. Certain
philosophical aspects like determination of goals of such an
activity and function of the facility were equally important
parts of the development process. At the close of the project
some confusion remained regarding the goals and function of the
PMC due to some confusing signals transmitted to MARA by USAID.
Because of difficulties in adapting government financial support
to a farm production situation, USAID suggested that private
sector involvement or "privatization" of the facility was
preferred due to the cost of public operation of such a facility.
This line of reasoning essentially removes the public service
aspects which were the driving force behind the original concept
of the PMC. Originally, the PMC was envisioned as a facility
that would lead the way in the development and production of seed
and plant materials which would be useful in solving forage
production and soil and water conservation problems in semiarid
and arid zones of Morocco and North Africa.

Findings: Plant Materials Center

The PMC facility was completed in 1986. It included
offices, housing, shops, seed cleaning equipment and facilities,
seed laboratory and storage facilities, seed production equipment
and irrigated agricultural land for plant materials production

and research. Some of the land was devoted to a shrub nursery
and research trials on native and introduced species. At the
close of the project, most of the land area was scheduled for the
production of the seed of legume species which have been imported
in recent years.

Recommendations: Plant Materials Center

While the original goals of the PMC emphasized the
production of seed of cool-season forage species, based on
production difficulties with these species, this emphasis should
be changed. Legume species (both native species and introduced
cultivars) are well adapted to production at the Khemis M'touh
area. Other goals such as production of foundation seed,
development of seed certification standards and promotion of an
extension program for seed production are still valid. Five
additional recommendations for strengthening the role of the PMC
in Morocco are as follows:

Continue the program of research and development of native
plant species for forage and conservation use even if
satellite locations are needed for the production of some
Obtain budget autonomy in order to allow the flexibility
required for the PMC to function in the role that has been
Use the PMC facilities to generate revenue by producing
high quality seed of forage or agronomic crops for more
humid zones to the extent that such activities do not take
place to the detriment of the established program.
Integrate the PMC seed laboratory and the DPVCTRF program.
Develop a laboratory for inoculum production that will
complement the program of research and development of
native legume species.



In order to determine acceptable strategies of intervention
into the livestock production sector, project participants
working in the field at local offices had to answer the following
questions: 1) What are the forage resources and level of
production available to livestock at each site? 2) What specific
range improvements are available to range managers and private
producers at each location? 3) How will these range improvements
affect forage production?
Project technicians collected range forage and crop
production data from local administrative sources. In each
perimeter, they planned a program of field research to determine
range improvements which might increase forage production and
halt the loss of soil and vegetation resources. The following
chapter provides the objectives, methods, results, and
conclusions of range research which was implemented on the
grazing perimeters during the term of the Project.

PERIMETER, Beni Mellal Office

Abiotic Influences on Production

Site Topography and Location

The Ait Rbaa Perimeter, under the responsibility of the Beni
Mellal Office, is located on an outwash plain of the Middle Atlas
Mountains about 40 kilometers north of Beni Mellal and 13
kilometers north and west of Kasba Tadla (Figure 1.1). The
average elevation at the perimeter is approximately 560 meters
above sea level.

Figure 1.1.
of watering

Map of Ait Rbaa Grazing Perimeter showing locations
points and experimental grazing exclosures.


Soils in the area are primarily calcareous clays formed over
an extensive limestone layer. Soils vary in depth from a few
centimeters on hilltops to more than one meter on the bottomland.
The soil is mixed with a large proportion of rock, which is
mostly composed of chert, ranging in size from gravel to small
boulders. Rocky outcroppings and gravel fields are common
throughout the area.


The climate is true Mediterranean characterized by hot, dry
summers and moist, cool winters. Summer daytime temperatures
reach as high as 45+C and there are occasional days of freezing

temperatures in winter (Figure 1.2). The distribution of
precipitation is variable over the perimeter and varies greatly
from year to year. The pattern of rainfall is generally bi-modal
with the peaks usually falling in November and April (Figure
1.3). Recorded amounts of precipitation range from a low of 95
mm annually to a high of 600 mm, averaging near 350 mm per year
(Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.2. Average monthly temperatures (oC) for the Beni
Mellal region (Beni Mellal Office).


Figure 1.3. Average monthly precipitation (mm) for the Beni
Mellal region (Beni Mellal Office).

900 -


0 500



71 72 73 7 7 75 7 7 77 7 79 80 81 82 83 84 85

Figure 1.4. Annual precipitation (mm) for the Beni Mellal region
for 1971-1985 (Beni Mellal Office).

Forage Crop Production Estimation: BENI MELLAL REGION

Native Range

The original vegetation of Ait Rbaa was probably composed
primarily of annual and perennial grasses and legumes, but heavy
grazing has reduced the composi-tion of the plant communities to
mostly annual forbs. Major plant species include Cynodon
dactylon, Asphodelus tenuifolius, Malva parviflora, Medicago
laciniata, and Stipa retorta. A major perennial component of the
vegetative cover is a thorny shrub, jujubier (Zizyphus lotus),
which is somewhat resistant to grazing, but is heavily harvested
for firewood and for materials for construction of corrals.
Forage production on the perimeter was estimated during a
1984/85 forage study, in whichftnpalatable plant species were
also collected. The following table has been corrected to
estimate only usable forage (Table 1.a).

Cultivated Lands

Cultivated lands are an important source of forage for
livestock raised in the area. The following table (Table 1.2)
presents estimates of forage availability for the Kasba Tadla
area from forage crops and crop residues. These figures were
computed from a table on cultivated land use. In order to
estimate crop residues the following formulas were used:
-Roughage from wheat or barely..= Production x 1.08
-Beans........................ ...= Production x 1.50
-Peas........................... .= Production x 1.00
-Sugar beets.....................= Production x 0.20

Table 1.1. Average annual herbage production estimates by land
category on the Ait Rbaa Grazing Perimeter (Beni Mellal Office).

Slightly Eroded 4,615 1,500 6,922.5
Moderately Eroded 1,680 1,100 1,848.0
Highly Eroded 877 350 307.0
Bottomland 2,500 600 1,500.0
Rock Outcrop 112 0 0.0

TOTAL 9,784 1,081 I10,577.5

Table 1.2. Estimated average annual crop production and crop
residue available for livestock in the area surrounding the Ait
Rbaa Grazing Perimeter (Beni Mellal Office).
I I- -

Forage Crops
Cereal Grains
Hard Wheat
Soft Wheat
Legume Grains
Broad Beans
Chick Peas
Green Beans
Sugar Beets

I AREA (ha)


















Two years of data (1983/84 1984/85)
One year of data (1984/85)
Crop residue estimates:
Straw from wheat or barley = grain production x 1.08
Aftermath from beans = grain production x 1.50
Aftermath from peas = grain production x 1.00
Dry pulp from sugar beets = production x 0.20





Abiotic Influences on Production

Site Topography and Location

Two recognized grazing perimeters fall under the
administrative jurisdiction of the Midelt Office of the Service
des Parcours: El Faija Perimeter, a 4000 ha area near Itzer, and
Plaine de l'Aarid Perimeter, a 12000 ha area 45 km west of
Midelt. Both grazing perimeters are situated on high plateaus
located along the eastern edge of the Middle Atlas Mountains and
are found at elevations ranging from 1600 to 1800 m.


Soils have developed from old sedimentary deposits and
overlying alluvial outwash. Soils have been described as mostly
clays, containing a calcic horizon.


The climate is semi-arid Continental, characterized by
relatively cold winters (Figure 1.5). Annual precipitation
averages approximately 300 mm, 90% of which falls between October
and June (Figures 1.6 and 1.7).


Figure 1.5. Average monthly temperatures (oC) for the Midelt
region (Midelt Office).


go -

50 -4

10 -


Figure 1.6. Average monthly precipitation (mm) for the Midelt
region (Midelt Office).



Figure 1.7. Annual precipitation
(Midelt Office).

(mm) for the Midelt region

Forage Crop Production Estimation: MIDELT REGION

Native Range

Native rangelands of the area are commonly characterized as
the sagebrush type (dominated by Artemisia herba alba) and the
alpha-grass type (dominated by Stipa tenassicima). The sagebrush


type generally occurs on areas of even to rolling topography with
more mesic site characteristics while the alpha-grass type occurs
on the areas of greater topographic relief exhibiting more xeric
site characteristics. Estimates of production on native
rangelands following drought are presented in Table 1.3.

Table 1.3. Estimated annual herbage production on grazed native
rangeland near the El Faija and Plaine de l'Aarid Grazing
Perimeters following drought (Midelt Office).

Sagebrush/Grass 133,000 23.0 3,059.0
Alpha-grass 131,000 5.0 655.0

STOTAL 264,000 14.0 3,714.0

Cultivated Land

Cultivated lands in the area are primarily devoted to cereal
production. Some fruit orchards and forage crops are also
produced on irrigated lands. Estimates of forage produced on
cultivated lands are given in Table 1.4.
Table 1.4. Estimated average annual forage production from
Midelt area crops and crop residues for a five year period (1980-
84) including drought (Midelt Office).


Grain Crops
Hard Wheat 16,270 42,302.0 45,556.0
Soft Wheat 1,001 2,803.0 3,003.0
Barley 1,060 636.0 742.0
Corn 716 787.6 1,217.2

Forage Crops
Alfalfa 1,247 890.7
TOTAL20294 47419. 50518.2
TOTAL J 20,294 1 47,419.3 50,518.2 |


Abiotic Influences on Production

Site Topography and Location

The Fritiss Grazing Perimeter is located 17 km south of Ain
Beni Mathar (Figures 1.8 & 1.9). It is situated between the

plains of Berguent to the north and Tendrara to the south.
Approximately 60% of the surface area (total: 10,000 ha) occurs
as hills, breaks and plateaus. The remainder of the area is
comprised of lowland plains, basins and drainages. The
Gouttitier Farm is located on rolling plains, about 130 km west
of Oujda along the road to Taza (Figure 1.10). The Gouttitier
Experimental Farm was incorporated into the Bureau des Parcours
administration in 1984. This farm was reserved for the needs of
future rangeland research for the Oriental Region of Morocco.
With some 2000 hectares of degraded rangeland, this area will
hopefully become an oasis for the demonstration of advanced
agricultural management practices in the region. Of the 2000
hectares, 40 hectares can be irrigated. Rangelands of the region
generally occur at elevations ranging from 500 to 1500 meters.

scale 1:1,000,000


outttirv JERADA

S / ,


Main Road


--- Circle Boundary
------- Commune Boundary

Figure 1.8. Map of Oujda Province indicating Fritiss Grazing
Perimeter (Oujda Office).

- Main Road
- Unimproved Road -
- Railroad Line t


Cl1 Corral

C2: Animal Handling Facility
El: Stock Pond
E2s Stock Pond
WI: Water Harvesting Reservoir

SCALEs 1/50,000
I . o I

- Intermittent Stream

Cliff or Bank

- Perimeter Boundary

- Experiment Station Boundary
/ Watershed Management Demo.

Concrete Reservoir
Concrete Reservoir
Water Harvesting Reservoir
Water Harvesting. Reservoir

Figure 1.9. Map of Fritiss Grazing Perimeter (Oujda Office).


M c dicago littoralis


** edicago littoralia I he.
0.33 he.

Nedicaqo sativa
2 haf

n non no lMnoc nonL

o ;tnoo n itnoc nn ino
Se I8 _j_ __

edicago 11ttoralls
1 ha.

HMdicago polymorpha
1 ha.

Medicago littoralia
1 ha.

- M

tMixd Grasses
Medicago polymorpha

Mixed Grasase
Medicago polymoroha
I ha.

Mixed Grasses
Medicago polymorpha
1 ha.

Mixed Grasses
Medicago littoralis
1 ha.

Mixed Grasses
Medicago polymorpha
1 ha.

Ieica9o ttoralis non-inoua 0. h

0.9 ha.

.ool-Ae..n.nrat *danthi II w Tril.

Figure 1.10. Map of the Gouttitier Experimental Farm indicating
present plantations (Oujda Office).





Surface soils originated from localized sedimentary sources,
varying in texture from coarse gravels, to sand, and then clay.
Underlying this entire region is a petro-calcic horizon (caliche
layer) which varies in thickness and depth throughout the area.
Thickness of the caliche layer ranges from 10 cm to 50 cm and
depth ranges from barren outcrops to several meters deep in
bottomland sites. This horizon can limit infiltration of
precipitation but contributes to the lateral movement of moisture
in the soil. In many areas of eastern Morocco this caliche layer
is mined for various construction materials.


The climate in this region of Morocco is semi-arid to arid,
extremely variable and is more typically Continental than
Mediterranean. Ain Beni Mathar lies in the semi-arid zone with
an average rainfall of 200 mm (Figure 1.11). Over the last 15
years annual precipitation has varied from near 100 mm to almost
300 mm. There are two peak precipitation months, October and
April, but these peaks vary considerably (Figure 1.12).
Temperatures peak in July at about 250 C., and are lowest in
January (Figure 1.13).


71 72 73 74 75 78 77 78 79 80 81 2 3 834. 85

1 Ain .Sni Mathar

+ TaourTrt

Figure 1.11. Annual precipitation (mm) from 1971-85 for Ain Beni
Mathar and Taourirt (Oujda Office).

a 70

C o
a. -

^- 50-





0 A n Banl Mathar 4- Taurirt

Figure 1.12. Average monthly precipitation (mm) for Ain Beni
Mathar and Taourirt (Oujda Office).


0 Aln Bu~a Mathar

+ Tocurtrt

Figure 1.13. Average monthly temperatures (oC) for Ain Beni
Mathar and Taourirt (Oujda Office).

Forage Crop Production Estimation

Native Range

Areas of topographical relief, such as hills and ridges, are
covered with nearly pure stands of alpha-grass (Stipa
tenacissima) in this region. The other 40% of the area is

composed of transition zones vegetated with mixtures of alpha-
grass and sagebrush, and drainages and basins of nearly pure
stands of sagebrush (Artemisia herba alba). Estimates of forage
production on grazed rangelands are presented in Table 1.5.

Table 1.5. Estimated average annual herbage production on native
range following drought for Ain Beni Mathar and Gouttitier
Grazing Perimeters (Oujda Office).


Alpha-grass 192,700 3.0 578.1
(Domaine d'Etat)

Sagebrush/Grass 358,065 13.8 4,941.3
(Collective Range)

TOTAL 550,765 1 5,519.4

Cultivated Lands

Crop production is limited to a small portion of the total
land area of the region. At Ain Beni Mathar, cultivated land
comprises approximately 11% of the local area (1% irrigated and
10% dryland). Barley and wheat are the primary dryland crops
produced and forage crops such as alfalfa are the primary crops
produced on irrigated land. Estimates of forage production
resulting from cropping activities are presented in Table 1.6.

Table 1.6. Estimated annual forage production from crops and
crop residues following drought in the Ain Beni Mathar region
(Oujda Office).


Hard Wheat
Soft Wheat

Hard Wheat
Soft Wheat


AREA (ha)

PROD. RATE (kg dm/ha)

Y -





2, 100





" ---- ---"-

REGION, Meknes Office

Abiotic Influences on Production

Site Topography and Location

The Timahdite Grazing Perimeter is a loose collection of
private and tribal land on which the government technical
services have no formal jurisdiction, except for a small
experiment station (Touna Station) which has been dedicated to
range research. It is composed of upper elevation shrublands and
grasslands and is located in the Middle Atlas Mountains, south of
the village of Azrou, bordering the Provinces of Khenifra and
Boulemane. The perimeter is divided into three major
topographical zones: an undulating plateau at an average
elevation of 1800 m, a narrow valley along the Guigou River, and
a series of rocky peaks, one of which rises to 2400 m.


The Timahdite region is characterized by two major types of
parent material: a limestone substratum and, generally above this
formation, a layer of basalt resulting from volcanic activity in
the Quarternary Period.


The climate of the area can be described as Continental.
The region has an average annual precipitation of 400 mm (Figure
1.14) with hot summers and very cold (Figure 1.15), snowy
winters. There is much climatic variation along altitudinal
gradients. .Snow falls on the area from 15 to 40 days annually,
with the majority falling during December and January.

Figure 1.14. Average monthly precipitation (mm) for the
Timahdite region (Meknes Office).


1.15. Average monthly temperatures (oC) in the Timahdite
(Meknes Office).

Forage Crop Production Estimation: TIMAHDITE REGION

Native Range

Rangeland plant communities of the area are dominated by
various shrubs and perennial grasses. Estimates of the forage
productivity of these lands are presented in Table 1.7.

Table 1.7. Estimated average annual herbage production on native
rangeland following drought in the Timahdite region (Meknes


Oak-Cedar-Juniper 13,100 Not Estimated
IRangelands from the 31,145 424 13,205.5
following types:
Helianthamum Tran.

Cultivated Lands

Wheat and barley are the primary agronomic crops in the area
although other crops such as corn, potatoes and various vegetable
crops are also common, especially on irrigated parcels.
Estimates of forage production contributions from cultivated
lands are presented in Table 1.8.

Table 1.8. Estimated annual production available for livestock
in the form of crops and crop residues following drought in the
Timahdite region (Meknes Office).


ICereal Crops
Hard Wheat 4098 4,507.8 4,917.6
Soft Wheat 63 56.7 63.0
Barley 2719 2,175.2 2,447.1
Corn 563 217.8 1,887.6
IForage Crops
Alfalfa 35 175.0
Oats 78 234.0 257.4
Barley 57 171.0
Other 62

Potatoes 39 390.0
Other 9 -
Arboriculture 7
TOTAL 750 (Incomplete) (Incomplete)
ITOTAL 7530 (Incomplete) (Incomplete)


Species Adaptability Trials

Program Development

The objective of these trials was to introduce and test,
under Moroccan range conditions, forage species proven to be
successful on rangelands in other countries with similar range
environments. The major achievements in this activity were 1)
the establishment of a species adaptability trial program as a
continuing part of DE programs in the field, 2) the development
of a standardized evaluation system for species trials, and 3)
the identification of a number of range forage species and
varieties which are usable in each location.
At each field office, species selection, requests for seed,
and trial establishment were the responsibility of the DE project
leader. The PMC staff distributed seed and inoculum, and
assisted the DE project leaders when requested. Beginning in
1982, replicated trials were established in single five meter
rows, with spacing of one and one-half meters between rows.
Evaluation procedures were recommended by Dr. Mel George, ("Range
Seeding, Fertilization and Management", Oct. 28, 1981), yet no
uniform methods were followed until late in the program.
After seedbed preparation, using manual labor and hand
tools, the trials were planted by hand. Establishment varied
each season. Drought was a major impediment to success. Waiting
for the first fall rains, the usual practice in dryland crop
production, caused considerable delays each year. Germination
was delayed even more for trials that were planted in late
November and December. In some locations and in some years,
trials were not planted at all. The continuing periods of
drought during spring months created additional problems for
Species were chosen for trials based upon recommendations
from Dr. George's report written after a visit to each of the
project sites in 1981. He ordered the seed for the 1982 trials,
while seed orders for the subsequent adaptability trials were
placed by the PMC.
In the final year of the Project (1985-86) staff at the PMC
and grazing perimeters collaborated to update and improve species
adaptability trials through five distinct changes: 1) the
testing of introduced species continued, but with emphasis
shifted to testing varieties of these species which were "known
to be adapted" based upon the experience of earlier Project
trials, 2) during the last year, native species were entered for
the first time in a controlled experiment, 3) as a result of the
unsuccessful establishment of most species in the trials between
1982-84, new methods were implemented. Attention was focused on
planting dates and water catchment, 4) a new "Species
Adaptability Evaluation Form", prepared in both English (Figure
1.16) and French (Figure 1.17), was devised and simplified to
encourage usage, and 5) reporting procedures were standardized,
for simple, concise interpretation.



Scientific Name:

Variety Name:
Trial Location:
Planting Date:
Seeding Rate:

Maroc USA Other:






Date of Observation:
Estimate Emergence Date:
Percent of Row Established:
Plant Vigor High
Other Observations:


Date of Observation:
Winter Hardiness: High
Percent of Row Established:
Other Observations:


Date of Observation:
Foliage Rating: High
Percent of Row Established:
Other Observations:


Date of Observation:
Drought Resistance: High
Percent of Row Established:
Other Observations:


Seed Maturity Date:
Plant's Potential for
Future Utilization:
Other Observations:


Medium Low


Medium Low


Medium Low


Medium Low

Medium Low

Figure 1.16. English language version of the standardized form
in use for evaluation of the Species Adaptability Trials on
grazing perimeters.

Maro US Othe



Nom Scientifique:

Nom de la Variete:
Pays de Provenanc
Lieu de l'Essai:
Date de Semis:
Densite du Semis:


e: Maroc USA Autre:

Forte Moyenne Faible


Date d'Observation:
Estimation de la date de levee:
Nombre de plants levees par m2 ou ml:
Vigueur des plants: Forte
Autres Observations:


Date d'Observation:
Resistance au froid: Forte Mc
Pourcentage de plants etablies:
Autres Observations:


Date d'Observation:
Quantite de feuillage: Forte
Pourcentage de plants etablie
Autres Observations:


(oyenne Faible


oyenne Faible




Date d'Observation:
Resistance la secheresse: Forte Moyenne Faible
Pourcentage de plants etablies:
Autres Observations:


Date de la maturation des grains:
Potential de la plante pour
une future utilization: Fort Moyen Paible
Autres Observations:

Figure 1.17. French language version of the standardized form in
use for evaluation of the Species Adaptability Trials on grazing


Midelt Office: Initial Results

Early trials (1972) provided information on which to start a
seed production program at the PMC. The most promising species
from the region were: Agropyron intermedium, A. elongatum, and

-" -

A. trichophorum. Subsequent trials on Plaine de 1'Aarid and El
Faija Grazing Perimeters resulted in the identification of the
following varieties as adapted:
1983 A. intermedium, var. Tegmar and Slate
A. elongatum, var. Jose and Largo
A. trichophorum, var. Topar and Luna
1984 A. intermedium, var. Oahe
A. smithii, var. Rosana
A. riparium, var. Sodar
Melilotus officinalis
Onobrychis viccifolia
Trifolium hirtum, var. Hykon
Medicago sativa, var. Ladak
Vicia dasycarpa, var. Lana
Astragulus cicer, var. Lutana

Midelt Office: 1985 results

Animal pests destroyed the trial at El Faija.

Beni Mellal Office: Initial Results

The 1982 and 1983 trials were planted in December and
failed to become established. The 1984 trial was planted in
October. By January, due to lack of precipitation, two
artificial methods were attempted to promote stand establishment.
In the row trials, supplemental water was applied to one
replication twice to offset the lack of precipitation. In
another trial, mature plants were transplanted from the PMC to
determine if a developed plant had a better chance for survival
compared to a seedling. Establishment of these transplants was
negligible, probably due to inadequate precipitation and to
damage to the plants that occurred during transplanting and

Beni Mellal Office: 1985 Results

Perimeter personnel summarized their findings (using the
standardized PMC form) and made recommendations for species with
potential. These species should be multiplied at the PMC for
additional testing and demonstration plantings.

Grass species with high potential for establishment:
1. Bromus mollis, var. Blando (annual)
2. Lolium rigidum, var. Wimmer-62 (annual)
Grass species with medium potential for establishment:
1. Agropyron elongatum, var. Jose (perennial)
2. Agropyron intermedium, var. Tegmar (perennial)
3. Agropyron elongatum, var. Largo (perennial)
4. Agropyron intermedium, var. Slate (perennial)
5. Dactylis glomerata, access. GR-659 (perennial)
6. Agropyron trichophorum, var. Mandan (per.)

Legume species with high potential for establishment:
1. Medicago laciniata, access. Ait Rbaa (annual)
2. Trifolium cherleri, access. GR-423 (annual)
3. Trifolium cherleri, access. GR-307 (annual)
4. Medicago laciniata, access. GR-215 (annual)
5. Medicago laciniata, access. GR-222 (annual)
6. Medicago laciniata, access. GR-201 (annual)
Legume species with medium potential for establishment:
1. Medicago truncatula, access. GR-153 (annual)
2. Medicago littoralis, access. GR-221 (annual)
3. Medicago laciniata, access. GR-776 (annual)
4. Medicago laciniata, access. GT-8101 (annual)
5. Medicago laciniata, access. GR-211 (annual)
6. Medicago aculeata, access. GR-138 (annual)
7. Medicago aculeata, access. GR-196 (annual)

Of special interest in the legume trial (listed above) was
the introduction of locally collected species. The Medicago
laciniata accession from Ait Rbaa was originally collected at the
perimeter in July 1984 and planted at the PMC for multiplication
in November 1984. The seed, harvested in June 1985, was then
returned to the perimeter for this trial. The most interesting
difference between the two samples was that the original
collection had an average of five to six seeds per pod and
produced small seeds. The PMC generation produced nine to eleven
seeds per pod, with a seed size three times larger. This seed
size could be a major factor in the success of its return to the
perimeter. Seed pods harvested from this trial at Ait Rbaa in
May 1986 contained seven to nine seeds per pod, with an increase-
in seed size over existing native plants.

Oujda Office: Initial Results

No trials were planted.

Oujda Office: 1985 Results

Ain Beni Mathar trials were installed within the contour
system of the "America Plantation", southwest of town on the road
to Merija. No seed from native species was available for
Due to the cold temperatures and very low precipitation
during January and February, little growth was observed. Most of
the species germinated, but the survival was very low, with only
Agropyron elongatum, A. smithii, A. intermedium, A. trichophorum
showing any promise. These trials continue to be monitored on a
monthly basis.
Within the contour system at the Gouttitier Experimental
Farm, a trial-was established for 38 species. Here, too, cold
temperatures and very low precipitation resulted in a lack of
extensive growth. The same species of Agropyron which show
promise of survival in Ain Beni Mathar appear to be acceptable
for the Gouttitier region. In addition, seedlings of some late
germinating species were noticed by technicians, prompting them

to continue to monitor trials on a monthly basis.

Meknes Office: Initial Results

In the 1982 Touna Station trial, the following species
germinated and persisted:

Agropyron elongatum, var. Largo (perennial)
Agropyron smithii, var. Arriba (perennial)
Agropyron desertorum, var. Nordan (perennial)
Agropyron intermedium, var. Oahe (perennial)
Agropyron trichophorum, var. Topar (perennial)
Bromus marginatus, var. Bromar (perennial)

The 1983 trial was planted in December and failed to
establish. No trial was planted in 1984.

Meknes Office: 1985 Results

The trial was established, yet no observations have been

Summary of Trials

Species entered into these adaptability trials (see Tables
1.9 and 1.10 for seed distribution lists) were not exposed to
conditions favorable for germination, establishment, or survival
during the life of the project due to drought conditions.
Therefore, it would be unwise to eliminate any one species from
future experimentation, with few exceptions. Morocco, with its
long, hot summers, appears to be ideal for some warm-season
grasses. Remnants of a few native perennial grass species (in
the genera Cynodon, Pennisetum, Cenchrus) are even found in
protected areas. The missing components for stand establishment
and survival have been timing and seeding technique. In recent
years of low precipitation, moisture has also been limiting in
the late spring and early summer when temperatures have been
conducive for germination and growth of these species. The
expense of these seeds, compared to their limited chance for
establishment, minimizes their utility. The situation which may
permit their utilization is in plantings behind terraces where
rainfall runoff can be captured and soil moisture is retained.

Table 1.9. 1985 adaptability trial seed distribution list.

3alenttlfe Use


Axropyron 1; imriu
Agrogyron 1 -nt~rwdlum
Agropyron Iii~rediue
Aeto~pyton inteteedlus

Agropyron a*Titrll
A ro ton aiithiT

A to ron IWiWIT
ro ran haraM

rolivron urlu
etylis slosersat

ru cernosue

Lotus creticus
Ctyl 6 ~a 021I~
C gje sts

Wif1~. rixidumnu
V* Fu _21 a

H subterranus
i~i~ Uu! subterraneuiuL~rn~
Lotui~s reaubtrtne

Scasntlflc Nas

Caed.m Nae


Tall wheatgrass Jose
Tell Wheatgrsas Alkar
Tell Vheatgrres Largo
Intermediate Whestgreaa Slat.
Interedlate Whletgrssa Tegmar
Intersedlate Whetrasa Oahe
Intermediate Vheatgrass CGrener
western Wheatgr as Arrlbe
Western Wheatgrass Rodan
Western Whestgraae Rosans
vWestern VWhtgrass Flintlock
Western Wheatgraas Barton
Pubescent Vheatgrgaa Mandan
Pubescent Whestgreas Toper
Orchardgraas CR-526
Orchardgreas CR-539
Orchardgrass CR-572
Orchardgraes Palestine
Annual rylgrass VWaer-62
Timothy Cl les
Sula Sweetvwtch CR-662
Sweetvetch Tunlalo
Northern Sweetvetch Common
Dwarf Blrdafoot Trefoil Kalo
Annual Trteoll CR-12
Annual Trefoll CR-560
Annual Medio CR-514
Annual Medic CR-860
Annual Medlc Ait Rbhe
Annual Medic CR-509
Annual Medlc GR-:48
Annual Medic CR-493
Yellow Seet Clover Madrid
Annual Clover GR-307
Subterranean Clover CR-4l)
Subterranean Clover GR-448
Subterranean Clover CR-494
Subterranean Clover GC-519
Subterranean Clover CR-567
Arroolef Clover Asclo

CGem.a Iea


APropyron elonstum Tall Wheltgrlas Jose
Atropyron aeonostua Tell Wheatgrass Largo
Aropyron intermedium Intersediate Wheatgraaa Slate
Aqropyron interediur Intermedlate Wheatgrasa Teger
Aropyron salthll Western Wheetgrasa Arrlba
Axropyron salthil Western Wheatgrass Flintlock
Asropyron trichhophoru Pubescent Wheatgrass Topar
Agropyron trlchophoruo Pubescent Wheatgreaas Mndan
Bromua oallls Soft Chess Blando
Dlctylls lomerata Orchardgrass CR-659
Featuce arlionica Arizona Fescue Redondo
Lollu ridue Annual ryegraesa WVer-62
Oryzopas h1yenoadea Indian Rlcegress Nazper
Oryop hy noides Indian Rlcegrasa Palomi
r opsi a lliace Sellograss CT-129
Oryzopia liacea Silograss GT-860
rytop s ilacea Salogrssa CT-920
ryzopsis mIaceLa Sailograsa CT-940
cha hyruSoperl Little Bluesate Clmeron
Lguaes and orbs
Hdyarus borale Northern Seetvetch Comon
edserue carnoauo Sweetvetch Tunlsia
Medicao aculata Annual edic CR-196
KMedcao aculea Annual asdie CR-136
MHedcago rlgidule Annual adic CR-145
ed cago Intertexta Annual medic CR-188
adiceao polyVorpha Annual aedic CR-824
eadLcaO olorphm Annual medi CR-154
Medicago iniaMta Annual -mdie GR-187
Md caso Iacinat Annual media GR*209
Medicago lacinate Annual medlc CR-869
M ecao ciate Annual medic CR-215
icao lacnita Annual mdic CR-22
Heicage lclniate Annual medic Alt Rbaa
ica a Annual sedic GR*-76
cago l na Annual medic R-201
NOdlcage nlna ta Annual edic CR-211
me icao lcnia Annual edic T-6101
icagleoA lacInIisa Annual edle GCT-810e
d icago lttorl Annual medic GR*221

MBcaao truntu rrel sedic Akber
Medical truncatu a Barrel medle CR-153
lTllotua offlclin ia Yellow Sweet Clover Madrid
r Annual Clover CR-307
Tr a l Annual Clever CR-423
o Subterranse Clever Ceraldtao
SL teremasm Cleoer Northne
E usrlv 1 -ter tebrressma Clever Nah rtrl


Scietiftlle ase

ro on cristatum

Aropyroon eIan& tum
Agropyron eton tum
Iropyron iiint reed lu
Airopyron lntr.j.dlua
Agropyron Ierediu
AgropYron a.ith l
Agropyron slthil
Agropyron smlthll
oro thll

Aroron a tu
tAroron a zctu
tArooyron r IoOn Pus

rvOps hy.oldes

Hedysru boreal

Mel lotus oflcinal s


Soatntlflc Ma-s

Coamm.. s


Created Whetgraseg Ehprlat
Crested WheatgrasS Ruff
Toll Whe.tgres Alker
Till Vhe tgrsea Jose
Tall WVh*tgras< Largo
Intersedlste vhewi retsa Slat
Interedlate Wheetgrass Tegar
Intermediate Whea grass Crnhr
Inluredateb Wheatgrass Greener
Western Vheetgreas Rodan
Western Wherntgr&e Arr lb
Western Whstgrase Romano
western Wheetgreas Flintlock
wetern Wheatcrass Barton
Bluabunch Wheatgrsas Sectr
Blu.bunch Whentrese Whitsar
Pubescent Vhestgrsa* Mandan
Pubescent Whestgreas Toper
OrchTrdgrse CR- 659
Orcherdgrses Palestlne
Orcherdgraes Palute
Alsi VWldrye Prelrlelan
Indian Ricegraas Palogo
Indian Ricegraes NHeper
Northern Sweetvetch Common
Swtvetch Tunisia
Sula Smeetvetch CR-862
Annual MI Cl CR-58s
Annual Medic CR-729
Yellow Sweet Clover Madrld

Coron Manse


oron elonetu Tall Whaeetgrss Alker
A roron elonatu Tall Vneatgreaa Jose
sropyron l Tell Wheatgraes Largo
Atpron Intermdlua Intermedlate Wheatgraaa Slate -
rop nteredlium Intermedlate Wheatgreaa Tegear
Aro on Intereedlue Intermedlate Whetgrass Oshe
rn Interaediu Intermedlate Wheatgrass Crener
p smithil Vestern VWhetgreas Arrlbe
o Western heetgrass Rodan
lEron sWthl Vestern Vheatgres Rosana
royr l WVestern Wheetgrass Flintlock
A roIon aalthll Western Wheatgrass Barton
roron pcatu Bluabunch Wheetgrrss Secar
rpon 81cau Bluebunch Wheetgrsaa Whitmar
a r n trichophorum Pubescent Wheatgrass Topar
rotrchoporue Pubeeent Wheatgreas Mandan
Bothricohle ci u Yellow Blueste* Canada
Broa sol Soft Chess Blando
emonn o n BerMudagraaass Coa on
Ft ai irlonica Arlzona rescue Redondo
lu a ht"Dr u Annual ryegress WVlamr-62
i t Spike Muhly El Vado
rizos 0 noa Indian Rleagrase Poloie
Orytop ~ha nold Indian Ricegrass Neaper
rvos a lisces Sallogress CT-129
Orz a t e Sailograse CT-860
OrToa i iCO Sallograas CT-801
-ai alacea Sallograsa CT-132
r s acs Sellograa CT-920
r ox at s cea Sallograss CT-940
sop lualm Little Bluestes Ciameron
Sc hiechius rlus Little Bluestae Pasture
obou d Alkali canton Salado
s rptandrus Sand Dropseed Cosmon
quses andForba
tdyru borelse Northern Svawtvetch Common
Hedyar carn Sweetwetch Tunisia
Lotus corniculatua Birdafoot Trefoil Cascede
Lotus cornculatus Dwart irdstoot Trefoil Kalo
Lotus dunculasta Big Trefoil Marshfield
S Annual medic CR-138
d cae n Annual medic Alt Rbas
a rtdula Annual edic CR-145
SInterTta Annual aedic CR-188
ica o rhe Annual sadic CR-824
caeo lnata Annual medic GR-869
MEd a S IcRn!it Annual edic CT-8101
Micao truncetua Barrel medic Akbar
.l. uas Tellw Smeet Clever Madrld
r rose Clmer nykoe
c aeaI lyped Vaet Lane
kn PleS l M rr Pmteme Cedt

Table 1.10. 1982-84 adaptability trial seed distribution list
including species previously distributed in addition to the 1985


Ciaenattle he.

ron desertorue
royron criaLatum
ron ntermedlu
ron trochycoulu
rogn trachycaulu

BroUs ca-rnntua
Brotiua lhurinl
Bro.u3 in-gi
me0 s c rtus
C*nchrus c lla rl

GC hrug c h ol a -raa
C.nchru. c li arl

D'cyal loersta
hrarta c

rxroat a curvul

Ere rostit curvul

ra-rost Ra t !ero

re rtsc a orb
roe tt I tr ch des
rrosatt i if
retuce erundnacs

G ovine
a**tuu longifour

Pholrtu tuberOVI

tcau o u

tifo iu hi rtu (
aii u t ed rorb

S loubtert anul

caroeu to i
L* Rodicago sauTiv
*4 c ao traal

N dcauo toto
me, .It uneet
at w

C.r ao ttod ln tuo

f-ui. ti hirtue
ATr-oT u0 TLncaet t..

s ubterr tanu
r o u ubterrenius
rT o us *ubterraneu


S ub*
c cynin ka

t aile co unectao
r 0101 a. to fr
I pitar nor

ORsI t tonNLr
Ol rdl e un ult&
Conothus sontanue
CUo f to --i *~I n t-
Purehi tmiiynt-

C- "me a

Crested Wheatgrase Nordan
Falrway Whectgreal Fltrway
Intermedlite Whee(tgrae Aaur
Slender Wheat&gras Revenue
Slender Wheetgrass Prlonr
Sil Rluestea Common
S btro"e Cucamonga
Sweetbrooe [eboran
Smooth Brome ress Manchar
Mountain Brosegraa Rroner
Buffellgrel Coomon
Buftelgrelo Llano
Buffellgres Higglns
Sufftleigro Nuece
Orchirdgresr Berber
Orchardgrasa Currle
Perennial Veldtreas mtistion
Russian Wildrye Coemon
keeping Lovegress Catalina
Weeping Lovegres Common
Weeplng Loverers A-84
Weeping Iovegre Renner
Leahmnn Lov:egr, KIulvato
LAhmann L4oversos Common
Vulmn Lovegre Polar
Sand Lovegraes Bend
Sandhill Lovegrse Meaon
Tall escrue 0eeter
Hard Fescue Durar
Sheep Fescue Cover
Red PFecue Fortress
Annual Ryegrae Coomon
Harding gres Seedeater
HNrdin(ggres Siroe
Perlogreas Perlt
Big Bluegrass Sheron
Canby Blueglre. Canby
Canada Bluegress Reubene
Alkali Secatea Comon
AlkIalt ocaten Seltalk
Rattull Slaveeklgres Zorro

Clcer MNlkvetcn Lute.
Strong medie Harbinger
CGne Me d P reponto
Alfelfe Drylander
Aliflfe Rambler
Alfalfa Rangelander
AlflfrI Teton
Alfllfo Travols
Alfalfa Spreader 2
Aitflfe Ladak
Alfalfe Rhyzono
Snell Medlc Snell
Barrel Medic Cyprus
Barrel Medic Hanna ord
Barrel Medic Joeulong
Saintoin Common
Serredell Coeoon
Semll Burnet Dear
Rose Clover Kondlnin
Roe Clover Wilton
Crleson Clever Ditle
Subterranean Clover Clare
Subterranean Clover Del1ak
Subterranean Clover Howard
Subterranea Clover Mt. Borker
Subterranean Clover Seaton Park
Subterranean Clover Trikkalk
Subterranean Clover Voogenellup

Coomberryleot Globemllow

Fourving SBltbush
rourving Seatbush
Fourcing SOltbush
Shadesco le
Castle Valley Clover
Cardner Saltbush
Medlterranean Saltbush
Oldmn Saltbush
Australian Saltbush
Trident. Seltbush

True Mountain Mohogany






Species adaptability trials are a vital component to the
success of future range seeding efforts. Seed germination and
seedling establishment are the keys to revegetation.
Adaptability of the species to local conditions (including
grazing) is the key to longevity and persistence of seedings.
Forage productivity along with stand longevity affect the
economic feasibility of seeding efforts. There will always be
new species, both introduced and native, that will require
testing and evaluation. The results of trials in the Midelt
region have shown substantial differences in adaptability and
productivity among varieties within species. Comparisons of the
standard varieties and newly released varieties, as well as
comparisons among native species, should continue.
The weather conditions will remain unpredictable, be it a
drought or monsoon. Since this risk is inevitable in semi-arid
and arid environments, efforts in making this factor manageable
by using techniques that are known to be effective should be
continued. A certain degree of discouragement will always
prevail, yet it is essential that these trials continue to be
planted and evaluated, preferably on a yearly basis.
In contrast to the overall poor performance of introduced
species was the relative vitality of the native species, which
appeared as "weeds" within the trials. This observation prompted
a change in Project emphasis from evaluation of introduced
species to research and development of native species.
The total responsibility for these Species Adaptability
Trials, and for the native species, should be assigned to one
individual as a Research Supervisor. This would require
extensive travel to all locations, including the PMC.
Coordination and evaluation of all the trials would best be
handled by this person.

Guidelines for Research Supervisors

1) A desire and willingness to work is required.
Establishing, maintaining and evaluating trials is not
an easy task. It requires constant planning,
coordination and consistent attention.

2) Advanced planning and preparation are essential.
Though weather caused delays during the Project, the
most serious problems which occurred were the result of
a lack of interest on the part of Project personnel in
preparing to undertake the trial. Seed requests and
procurement must begin in March, with October as the
target for planting.

3) Coordination is mandatory. There must be continuous
communication between local offices and the PMC. The
Research Supervisor must keep personnel at grazing
perimeters informed of all details of the PMC
production program. Without such communication, little
success can be expected from this program.


Wheatgrass Seedings: Plaine de L'Aarid and El Faija.

Early Field Trials: Plaine de 1'Aarid

About 200 varieties of various grass species were planted in
row and field trials in 270 to 330 mm precipitation zones in 1970
(Table 1.11). Only a fraction of these remain. Original
evaluations of these trials were based on observations one year
after establishment in 1971. Unfortunately, dry matter yield
data for the original field trial evaluations in 1971 were not
available. When the trials were evaluated in 1982, species from
the genus Agropyron exhibited the greatest persistence. While
none of the 1982 dry matter yields were impressive, it was the
first growing season after a severe drought, and therefore, an
important indication of drought tolerance, persistence and
Tall wheatgrass (A. elongatum var. Largo) performed well
during the 1971 evaluations and was subsequently seeded on a
large scale at Plaine de l'Aarid. In 1982, yields of four and
twelve year old stands of tall wheatgrass were compared on
similar soils in the 330 mm precipitation zone. Yield of the
four year old stand was almost double that of the twelve year old
stand. There appeared to be more plants per unit area in the
twelve year old stand due to basal expansion of original plants,
but there was a higher degree of mortality and stagnation.
A difference in yield was not detected between tall and
pubescent wheatgrasses (A. elongatum var. Largo and A.
trichophorum var. Luna) in twelve year old stands at 330 mm
average annual precipitation (Table 1.11). Again, there were low
yields after drought and previous years of heavy grazing at that
site. The growth form of pubescent wheatgrass at 330 mm
precipitation was strongly rhizomatous and appeared to withstand
grazing. This variety demonstrated longevity and reproduced
vegetatively under severe conditions. Tall wheatgrass matured
later than pubescent and showed no sign of reproduction. Weeds
were not a problem in either stand.
At the location receiving 270 mm average annual
precipitation, tall wheatgrass was not considered a suitable
alternative for range seeding. Yield for pubescent was double
that of tall wheatgrass. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron
desertorum) yield was between three and four times that of tall
wheatgrass. There was considerable stand mortality for tall
wheatgrass in the 270 mm precipitation zone even though it was
largely protected from grazing.
Crested wheatgrass was the highest yielding species in the
270 mm zone and produced large seed yields, possibly due to an
exceptionally wet spring. Numerous crested wheatgrass varieties
were impressive in both the 220 mm and 330 mm precipitation
zones. However, early seedings of crested wheatgrass did not
persist in some areas within the 330 mm precipitation zone.
Almost pure stands of sagebrush have become established on these
It appears that tall wheatgrass is a reasonable choice for a

seeding program at 330 mm precipitation and above. Pubescent
wheatgrass is rhizomatous and persistent through a wider range of
precipitation. What pubescent wheatgrass lacks in productivity
could be offset by persistence and survivability. Perhaps a
mixture of the two species would reduce the risk inherent in

Table 1.11. Production from row and field trials established in
the 1970's at the Plaine de L'Aarid Grazing Perimeter. Values
within columns by grouping are not significantly different
(P<.05) if they are assigned the same superscript. Samples were
oven dried 48 hours at 600C.]

Yield Plants Inflorescences
(kg/m4) (#/m') (#/m )

1.) 12 year old stand
(330 mm ppt. zone)
Agropyron elongatum 600a 11a
A. trichophorum 645a 85b
Elymus junceus 180b 6c

2.) 12 year old stand
(270 mm ppt. zone)

A. elongatum 126a 5a 1.2a
A. trichophorum 232b 45b 12.0b
A. cristatum 421c 10c 104.0c

3.) Two A. elongatum stands
(350 mm ppt. zone)

4 year old stand 1136a 7.2a 34a
12 year old stand 600b 11.4b 32a

planting a pure stand of either species. Crested wheatgrass
appears to be productive in both the 270 mm and 330 mm zones,
however, there is no local yield data for this species in the 330
mm zone or above.

Range Improvement Trials: Plaine de 1'Aarid

Five species of perennial grasses from the genus Agropyron
were seeded using the rangeland drill and a Belgian made grain
drill in the 300 mm precipitation zone on the Plaine de L'Aarid
Perimeter during late fall, 1983. The rangeland drill was used
to plant directly into native Artemisia herba-alba and an area
that had previously been planted to Agropyron intermedium. As a
result of heavy grazing pressure the original stand had been
virtually eliminated. The land was not mechanically prepared
prior to seeding with the rangeland drill. Earlier soil
manipulation for the initial A. intermedium stand left a seedbed
and eliminated competition from native plants. The more accepted
practice of plowing, discing, and rolling prior to planting the
seed with a standard grain drill was performed. Treatments of
seeded species were: Agropyron cristatum (Fairway), native A.
cristatum, A. elongatum (Largo), A. sibericum (P-27), A. smithii
(Arriba), and A. trichophorum (Luna) and an unseeded control.
Plots treated were five by forty meter strips and replicated
three times for each treatment.
The ability of selected grasses to establish, persist and
produce when drilled directly into native vegetation or a
weakened introduced stand via the rangeland drill was compared to
an accepted practice of planting. Low precipitation is probably
responsible for the resulting low rate of germination for all
species on all treatments. Plant establishment did not occur.
Initial treatment with the rangeland drill reduced shrub canopy
cover (live canopy intersect) by 28% and shrub density by 27% on
the Artemisia herba-alba site. Two years later no significant
difference was found between treated and control plots for either
shrub canopy or density characteristics.

Range Improvement Trials: El Faija

In September, 1984, two range improvement trials were
established on El Faija Perimeter using seedings of wheatgrasses.
These were designed to compare different land preparation and
planting methods of Agropyron cristatum, A. elongatum, A.
intermedium and A. trichophorum on a variety of soil types.
One of these trials was performed on a sloping area
dominated by Stipa tenacissima (alpha-grass). The site was
burned to remove existing alpha-grass, then one third of the
plots were plowed, disced and rolled before a grain drill was
used to plant either Agropyron cristatum or A. elongatum at
approximately seven and 12 kg pure live seedT7a, respectively.
The remaining plots were planted with the rangeland drill with no
land preparation prior to seeding. One half of the remaining
plots were planted using the rangeland drill with six discs to
open furrows. The other half were planted with the rangeland
drill using ten discs. The six-disc version has a wider row
spacing and heavier discs than the 10-disc version, thus the
distance between rows was greater and furrows were deeper. The
same species were planted with both the rangeland drill and grain
drill. Plots were 10 m x 25 m and treatments were replicated
four times.
A second trial repeated in the sagebrush (Artemisia herba-
alba) type on both shallow and deep soil sites, compared the

rangeland drill with six and 10 discs and the grain drill with
prior seedbed preparation as in the first experiment. The same
four Agropyron species were used in the trial. Plots were 10 m x
25 m and replicated three times.
Germination was slow for all species in all trials due to
low precipitation in the El Faija area. Stand densities were
measured the following fall (September, 1985) using a one m
frame. The conventional method of plowing, discing and rolling
prior to planting with a grain drill showed better stand
establishment than either of the rangeland drill techniques on
the sagebrush shallow soil site. The RD-10 outperformed the RD-6
on this site also. No significant differences were found between
treatments on the Artemisia herba-alba, deep soil site and the
Stipa tenacissima site. Agropyron cristatum had the lowest stand
density for all treatments on all sites. In this trial and other
trials previously established, small seeded species were
difficult to establish. Though plots were not clipped to
estimate production (grazing occurred on the stands prior to
their being clipped for production), the most robust plants
appeared to be on the plots seeded to A. trichophorum. Stand
densities by planting treatment and by species are shown in
Tables 1.12 and 1.13, respectively.

Table 1.12. Mean number of plants per meter2 by site and seeding
technique for trials at El Faija Perimeter performed in 1984.

Planting Artemisia herba-alba Stipa tenacissima
Treatments Shallow Soil Deep Soil

Conventional 22.55a 7.05a 7.58a

Rangeland Drill
(25 cm row spacing) 12.50b 7.83a 6.65a

Rangeland Drill
(15 cm row spacing) 6.42c 1.98a 4.78a

Values within columns with like superscripts are not
significantly different (P>.01).

Table 1.13. Mean number of plants per meter2 by site and species
at El Faija Perimeter for trials established in 1984.

Seeded Artemisia herba-alba Stipa tenacissima
Species Shallow Soil Deep Soil

Agropyron cristatum 1.80a 2*31a 0.72
A. elongatum 20.16b 7.38b 11.95b
A. intermedium 18.64b 6.24b
A. tricophorum 14.69c 6.56b

Values within columns with like superscripts are not
significantly different (P>.01).

Seeding and Interseeding Trials: Plaine de 1'Aarid and El Faija.

Field Trial: Plaine de l'Aarid

A field experiment, applied to both shallow and deep soil
sites, examined the possibility of seeding a mixture of two
legume species (Trifolium hirtum (Hykon) and Vicia dasycarpa
(Lana)) with four perennial grass species from the genus
Agropyron. This mixture was tested with two seedbed preparation
techniques, conventional preparation and use of the rangeland
drill. In the conventional preparation treatment, plots were
plowed, disced and rolled prior to seeding. On the remainder of
plots, the rangeland drill with ten disc openers was used only to
create furrows. All plots were hand seeded; one third received
the grass seed mixture with T. hirtum, one third received the
grass seed mixture with V. dasycarpa, and the remaining third
received the grass seed mixture without a legume. Plots were
five by ten meters and each treatment was replicated two times.
Germination was slow for all species regardless of the
treatment in all trials due to low precipitation. Stand
densities were measured the following fall (September, 1985)
using a one m sampling frame.
Total plant density was significantly higher (P<.05) for the
treatment with Vicia dasycarpa using the conventional method of
seedbed preparation. When seeding in arid zones or during
periods of drought, adequate seedbed preparation appears to be
critical to stand establishment. Species seeded (adaptability)
and seed size also play important roles when moisture available
for plant growth is perhaps the most limiting factor. Trials
should continue in order to explore the possibilities that may
exist with native species such as Dactylis glomerata and the
local Agropyron species. Seeding techniques should also be
evaluated further and under different environmental conditions
since the cost of applying these techniques plays a major role in
the determination of economic feasibility of rangeland seeding.

Field Trial: Plaine de L'Aarid

Technicians from the Midelt Office supervised the
interseeding of two legume species, sainfoin (Onobrychis
viccifolia) and sweetclover (Melilotus officianalis) within an
established stand of Agropyron elongatum on the Plaine de L'Aarid
Grazing Perimeter. An experimental area was interseeded with
legumes (17 kg pure live seed/ha) and fertilized with triple
super-phosphate at three different levels during the first week
in October, 1983. A separate trial was performed for each of the
legume species. Two treatments for each legume were tested,
inoculation and fertilizer rate, in a 3x3 factorial design
(split-plot). Inoculation treatments were inoculated seed, seed
without inoculum, and no seed planted. Triple super-phosphate
was applied at zero, 40, and 80 kg/ha.
Sainfoin displayed limited germination but failed to become
established. Sweetclover did not germinate. Plots were clipped
in mid-July, 1984. No significant difference in legume cover was
found among any of the trials. The lack of establishment of
these leguminous species was probably due to the limited

precipitation received during the 1983-84 season.

Seeding with Limited Land Preparation: Ait Rbaa

Experimental Seeding

The 20 hectare parcel used in this experimental range
improvement attempt is located on the extreme west end of the
grazing perimeter on deep, flat bottomland soils. The trials
were designed to determine the effects of soil treatments and
seeding on forage production.
A mixture of five legumes and four grasses was used in the
seeding treatments (see Figure 1.18 for plot layout and species
mixture). Soil was prepared using a 24 disc offset harrow and a
chisel. Land treatment and seedings were both performed on
October 30, 1985. The effort benefited from rains received
shortly after treatments were installed. By the middle of March,
the 20 hectare ripped area was dominated by a solid stand of
native annuals, composed mainly of a yellow mustard (Raphanus
raphanistrum) which reached over 1.25 meters in height. These
native annuals accounted for more than 90% of the cover. The
remainder was composed of Vicia dasycarpa (5%), seeded perennial
grasses including Agropyron intermedium (Slate) and Dactylis
glomerata (Palestine) (3%), and another seeded legume Medicago
littoralis (Harbinger) (1%).

0 50 100 150 200
Sc1le (terfe)

Iroadcet Sedi|n SpeeooI MNItre

Percent of Seo*din
Speclee Misture Race
(2) (kl/hs)
As. in_.Kt u r --
(SLte) 46. 2.5
Cy._ on dactylon
actykis fIn u~rae
(P.ale.trn) 3.8 2.2
adtelo l ittoraluL
(Harblnglr) 13.6 7.1
(Serenw) 13.1 7.5
TrLfollu. hirtu.
Iyko) 1.7 t.0
Triol lu. *ubterr.
(Nunlerln) 9.1 .2
flcl peeycerp -- ----- ----
(LUna) 36.0 20.6
(Flintlock) 10.5 60.
TOTAL 100.0 $7.2

Stal Tticr loc l iks
DOsLn Treat-nm 3
E p.'l. Error 6
!Saplinh Lrror 108

Figure 1.18. Plot layout and species mixture seeded at Ait Rbaa
Grazing Perimeter.

Small Demonstration Site with Limited Land Preparation

The objectives of this demonstration area were to develop a
visual demonstration site showing the effectiveness of developing
terraces on natural contours for watershed management and for
increasing forage production.
The site of the demonstration was located on the eastern end
of the Ait Rbaa Perimeter in fenced exclosures (two exclosures
are present at that site, a ridgetop exclosure and an exclosure
located in a swale; the demonstration was located in the lowland
exclosure). Contours were surveyed by technicians at the Beni
Mellal office. Terraces were dug by local hire. The local
Centre de Travaux (CT) was contracted to chisel the area behind
each terrace. A mixture of six species (Cynodon dactylon,
Agropyron intermedium, var. Slate, Trifolium subterranium var.
Clare, Dactylis glomerata var. Palestine, Vicia dasyacarpa var.
Lana, and Eragrostis curvula) were applied at a rate of four
kilos each for a total of 24 kg/ha. Three varieties of Atriplex
shrubs were planted behind the terraces facing the upper part of
the watershed. Grass clumps provided by the PMC were planted at
the junction of the terrace and the chiseled ground. It was
hoped that clumps, being mature, live plants, would have a higher
rate of survival than hand seeded species. Results of these
trials are presented in Table 1.14.

Table 1.14. Names, number and survival of planted species.

Hand Seeded kg Seed Planted Germination

Cynodon dactylon 4 med
Agropyron intermedium 4 med
var. Slate
Trifolium subterranium 4 med
var. Clare
Dactylis glomerata 4 low
var. Palestine
Vicia dasycarpa 4 high

Transplanted Grasses No. Planted Survival

Erharta calycina 37 27
var. Mission
Eragrostis lehmanniana 26 4
Agropyron desertorum 48 43
var. Nordan
Dactylis glomerata 40 38
var. Berber
Sporobolus airioides 37 0
Phalaris tuberosa 58 31
var. Seedmaster
Phalaris tuberosa 46 28
var. Serona
Cenchrus ciliaris 68 8
var. Nueces
Agropyron trichophorum 36 26
var. Lana

Table 4.14 (continued). Names, number and survival of planted

Dactylis glomerata 34 32
var. Palestine
Eragrostis curvula 23 20
var. Catalina
Eragrostis superba 52 9
var. Palar

Hand Seeding in Zizyphus Clumps on Degraded Range

This study was initiated to determine whether the area under
the Jujubier clumps, due to the high levels of organic matter,
visibly less compact soils, and protection from grazing, would be
a suitable site to reintroduce perennial rangeland grasses by
hand seeding.
Twelve paired Jujubier (Zizyphus lotus) plants were chosen
within the confines of an exclosure on the eastern end of the Ait
Rbaa Perimeter. A one m2 plot was staked surrounding each pair
of plants. The area was raked of debris and then randomly seeded
with one cf the following species: Agropyron intermedium var.
Slate, Cynodon dactylon, Cenchrus ciliaris, or Erharta calycina.
One plant from each pair was seeded at a rate of 12 kg/ha. The
experiment was maintained for only a single season. During the
summer months the majority of the shrubs were illegally removed
by area herders for firewood and fence building material. The
results of this study failed to show that this seeding method is
a reasonable alternative with any of the species used during
years of below average precipitation.


Ripping and Terracing: Oujda Office

Construction and Evaluation of Contour Terraces

The decreased plant cover on Eastern Moroccan rangelands,
caused by animal and human pressure coupled with drought, has
accelerated the amount of soil erosion. Technicians at the Oujda
Office took measures to capture precipitation runoff, increase
plant cover, and forage production through investments in major
land treatment. The goal of the construction of contour terraces
was to manipulate the soil to insure maximum water retention and
survival of plantings of Atriplex nummularia. This shrub species
was chosen for planting because of its demonstrated potential for
forage production in the harsh climate of Eastern Morocco.
In installing these contours, objectives were threefold: 1)
to determine the survival rate of Atriplex nummularia within the
contour system, 2) to determine the annual forage production of
the species, and 3) to determine the effects of the contour
terraces on native vegetation production. It was expected that
A. nummularia would survive in the contour system at a level
sufficient to warrant large scale use of this method of

plantation. Native vegetation was also expected to benefit from
increased soil moisture due to the water harvesting effect of the
contour terraces.
The contour terraces were constructed with hand labor, using
picks and shovels provided by a Promotion Nationale grant. These
grants are to be used for labor on projects for the betterment of
the community. In the Ain Beni Mathar area, the site chosen for
the demonstration was on the Fritiss Range Perimeter, where
contours were used to harvest runoff from the alfa-grass zone and
allow infiltration into the productive soils of the sagebrush
zone. The contours were surveyed in at 10 meter surface distance
The first step in the construction process was to dig a
trench 20 cm wide x 20 cm deep which would become the rooting
zone for the shrubs. The top soil from up the slope (1-1.5 m)
was shoveled down to fill the trench and make a furrow of "good
soil." After completion, the contour terrace was approximately
40 cm high and packed to resist erosion. In places of expected
heavy runoff the contours were fortified with a rock backing
covered with soil.
The Atriplex nummularia plants were supplied by the Forest
Service nursery in Bouarfa and planted at two meter intervals
along the terraces throughout the system. Each of the 5,000
plants was given five liters of water on planting day.
Shrub production data was collected on the Ain Beni Mathar
Perimeter after the shrubs were in place for one year.
Production was evaluated by ranking each of the 5,000 shrubs into
one of five classes, based on visual observation. Rank one was
considered poor production and rank four very high production. A
zero rank was given to dead plants. To convert these classes
into production, four representative plants of each rank were
stripped of all forage material and the material was bagged,
dried and weighed. The dry matter forage productivity estimates
presented in Figure 1.19 are based upon the average of these


0 9 ---
I .25 17.12 g
II 23 33.80 g
III 30 69.85 g
IV 13 245.44 g

Figure 1.19. Production classes of Atriplex nummularia shrubs on
contour terraces on the Fritiss Range Perimeter near Ain Beni

With a plantation density of 1,000 plants per hectare, the
first year production of Atriplex nummularia was estimated at
63.9 kg/ha of dry matter. Although this level may seem low, it
represents only part of the total annual production of the site.
The average forage dry matter production of sagebrush on contour
terraced sites was 447.4 kg/ha making the combined estimated

forage production of sagebrush and A. nummularia on the terraced
area 511.3 kg/ha, or over five times the production of sagebrush
sites that were protected from grazing. (On grazed sagebrush
sites, total production was estimated to be only 17.3 kg/ha. The
site yield under protection from grazing was estimated to be
84.0 kg/ha). The water harvesting effect of the contour terraces
adds considerably to production of forage on sagebrush sites. It
was demonstrated that transplanted shrubs can also be used
successfully with this technique to extend the forage base.
Longer term effects of terracing and shrub planting will be
monitored. As transplanted shrubs reach maturity and full size,
their contribution to forage production should increase several
fold. The presence of the Atriplex plants should also have a
moderating effect on the microenvironment of the site making it
more mesic than the surrounding area. If this proves to be the
case, production of sagebrush and other forage species could be
expected to increase.
The site chosen for contour terrace construction at the
Gouttitier Experimental Farm was a moderately sloping shallow
soil site. This site was selected because of its close proximity
to the main highway.
The construction method used was similar to that employed at
Ain Beni Mathar, though modified to fit the shallow soil sites.
Construction was by hand labor using picks and shovels. A 20 cm
x 20 cm x 20 cm hole was dug at two meter intervals to serve as
the planting site. These holes were then connected by a contour
terrace of soil from the up slope side. Holes were filled with
top soil from up slope. The finished contour terrace was 30 cm
in height and was packed to resist erosion.
The contours were planted with Atriplex nummularia supplied-
by the Forest Service nursery in Taourirt. Each of the 3,700
shrubs were given five liters of water on planting day.
The Gouttitier contours exhibited many of the problems of
the Ain Beni Mathar contours. The major problem was caused by
the slope of the site and the nature of the storms in the
Taourirt area. Precipitation events in this region are
characteristically of high intensity and short duration. This
causes considerable runoff which in turn causes damage to the
terraces. Many of the problems of structural failure could be
solved by proper forethought in placement and consideration of
soil types involved. A site with a greater productive potential
and less slope could have been chosen for the demonstration at
Gouttitier but it would not have been possible to locate it in an
area that could be readily seen from the highway.
Production data (Figure 1.20) was estimated using the sample
unit method employed at Ain Beni Mathar. With a plantation
density of 1000 plants per hectare, the first year production was
estimated to be 28.6 kg/ha. This low level of productivity gives
some indication of the limitations imposed by the slope and
shallow soils at the plantation site.


0 25 ---
I 26 16.30 g
II 32 26.70 g
III 9 63.80 g
IV 8 126.65 g

Figure 1.20. Production classes for Atriplex nummularia planted
on contour terraces at the Gouttitier Experimental Farm.

After a high intensity storm, it was observed that long
terraces needed breaks to allow water to pass to the next
terrace. Flow of water can only be slowed, not stopped
altogether. Breaks at 30 50 m intervals were opened and alfa-
grass and rocks placed over the exposed ends of terraces to
protect them from erosion. Any watershed management program
involving contour terracing (or other improvements involving
water management) must start at the head of the watershed basin
to gain control of the system.
Sites with deeper soils responded considerably better in
overall shrub production than the poorer sites. A petro-calcic
horizon very near the surface of the poorer sites appears to
inhibit plant growth. Conversely, this same petro-calcic horizon
on the deeper soil sites seems to aid in downstream percolation
of soil moisture. The water infiltrates and flows laterally on
the petro-calcic horizon adding to the available soil moisture
for native vegetation down slope.
One major problem that added to structural failure in an
intensive runoff event was rodent damage. Newly formed terraces
of fresh soil provided a perfect nesting place for many of these
nocturnal desert dwellers. Many places in the contour terraces
were literally honeycombed with burrows.

Additional Terracing Trials

The Bureau des Parcours was allocated funding to reclaim 400
hectares in the Ain Beni Mathar area. The America site (the site
of an American Air Force Base during the North African Campaign
of World War II) was selected because of its close proximity to a
major highway and the local population. The area is divided into
two sections, the site of a ten year old Forest Service
plantation that failed and a small watershed. The plantation
site was planted using a method of impluvium or "hoovera", a pit
surrounded with a crescent shaped terrace for water catchment and
storage. The small watershed was planted using a system of
contour terraces. This will be an excellent chance to compare
the two plantation methods for survival and .plant production.
The Forest Service method has been widely used in all parts of
Morocco in tree plantations. Its utility or effectiveness in the
semi-arid and arid zones appears to be negligible however.
The contour terraces were surveyed in at each 20 cm drop in
elevation (about 20 meters between contours). The construction
was done in two stages: 1) a rooting zone was cut and an initial

terrace was constructed by tractor and three disc plow, and 2)
hand labor was used to complete the construction of the terraces.
The tractor and plow ran along the contour in one direction to
the end of a contour, then reversing direction, ran along the
same cut to the starting point of that contour. This method
caused a 20 cm trench to be cut and the soil was thrown in a
rough terrace on the down slope side. Laborers then filled the
trench with top soil from up slope and worked the terrace to
stabilize the soil. The contours were broken every 50 meters to
allow flow of water to proceed down slope at a slower rate. The
ends of the breaks were rocked to protect them from erosion.
The area was planted with Atriplex nummularia supplied by
the Ain Beni Mathar Forage Plant Nursery and the Forest Service
nursery in Oujda. A total of 260,000 shrubs were planted at two
meter intervals with each receiving five liters of water on the
planting date.
A disc plow was used to scarify the soil to a depth of five
to seven cm at three different sites within the contour system.
This was done to open the soil for increased infiltration. Two
of the three sites disced were planted with a mixture of
Eragrostis lehmanniana and Sporobolus airoides seeded by hand.
Seed was then covered with a clump of jujubier branches drawn
over the ground by a donkey.
The native vegetation showed somewhat more robust growth in
the disced areas than it did in untreated areas. Stipa
parviflora was definitely more productive in these areas compared
to the untreated sites. Plants broken by the disc seem much more
healthy than those untouched. There was also a marked increase
in the native shrub growth in the treated areas. As of May 1,
1986, seeded areas had shown no sign of germination of the seeded
species. This is probably due to the low temperatures and lack
of moisture during the four months after planting. A major
sandstorm occurred three weeks after seeding with winds of 150
km/hr. Since the two species used have very small seeds, this
storm may have removed much of the seed from the ground.
The Atriplex nummularia shrubs will be evaluated four times
annually. The first quarter evaluation showed a death loss of
25%. Much of this loss can be attributed to damage done by
windstorms. Many of the impluvium planted shrubs were literally
covered with sand.
This range improvement was done by a hired contractor. Many
problems could be eliminated if a representative of the Bureau
des Parcours was on site at all times to oversee the work.

Fertilization and Ripping: Ait Rbaa

The cumulative effects of increased animal numbers, drought,
uncontrolled use and soil nutrient deficiencies have, over time,
reduced available forage on the Ait Rbaa Perimeter. Sulfur
fertilization and mechanical chiseling of the soil were two
treatments introduced on the perimeter with the objective of
providing an inexpensive method of increasing forage production
from native species.
The study site was located at the eastern end of the Ait
Rbaa Perimeter. Two locations, situated within a fenced
exclosure, were assessed to be representative of sloping upland

and bottomland sites found on the perimeter. Three replications
of six different treatments in a randomized block design were
installed at each location. Elemental sulfur was applied at
three different levels (0, 30, and 60 kg/ha of 98% pure sulfur).
Plots were either chiseled or left undisturbed. Soil moisture
and water infiltration rates were monitored seasonally. Forage
production was determined at peak season for native legumes,
other forbs, and native grasses.
Graphs of soil moisture data collected over two growing
seasons indicated that, regardless of location, chiseled sites
were more capable of retaining soil moisture than non chiseled
sites, both at soil depths between 0 and 10 cm and between 10 and
20 cm (Figures 1.21, 1.22, 1.23, and 1.24). Though statistical
analysis has not yet been performed on the data, the values are
encouraging. This range improvement practice may be useful at
Ait Rbaa Perimeter and other areas with similar climate and



i i 1 3,0 1,o 2 1 2, S Al22 : 23 8 a r 3 17 31 Io
Soc D Jm rEb Or AP y JUGT
& a/io-r 3/O--1 4 NC/-2-O 0 cM/0-10o A c,/o--.

Figure 1.21. Soil moisture,
Location I (1984-85).

CVo-%to cvto- c U.Lme t I 0 C I/I

Figure 1.23. Soil moisture
Location I (1985-86).

Figure 1.22. Soil moisture,
Location II (1984-85).

Z& 'L ." AS ja. .' 24 b 1*,, 2" LL" O -
NC'o-Ir CIo-o 0 yo-o c10 1o-1
NP.41/O- I 4 CV10 @- I0 0 elO-16 I,*I0 -7)"

Figure 1.24 Soil moisture
Location II (1985-86).

NCI/0- 0

The results of measurement of soil infiltration (Figures
1.25 and 1.26), at least when plotted, indicate that during the
first year after chiseling, higher mean infiltration rates can be
expected in the chiseled areas than in the non chiseled areas.
During the second year after chiseling, the treated areas were
again showing higher infiltration rates, but the differences
between the chiseled and non chiseled areas were not as
pronounced. This might be expected since both areas were
protected from grazing and plant cover and growth were increasing
annually. This plant cover and biological activity in the soil
and at the soil surface was obviously changing the soil
characteristics in terms of compaction. The actual effect of
chiseling may be only short term, especially if grazing practices
are not changed to reduce trampling and compaction of the soil.

05-4* 18-New 17-D** 2-Jen 15--b 1---5-Mar 14-Apr lSS-May 2___ __ _Ov 19-De 1_-Fb 14-Ma 17^^^
to0 7-


3- 2

0-.Oat 16-MN" 17-013 22-J4n 15-Fab IS-M-r 14-AIw 15-MW 23-Oct 14--g, i --0.m 15--en 21--F' 14-Mar 17-,W
a 4UA Mr NONA CUON, *O. /F6 w NON/to

Figure 1.25. Infiltration Figure 1.26. Infiltration
rates, 1984-85. rates, 1985-86.

There was a statistically significant increase (P<.05) in
legume production on chiseled over non chiseled sites. Native
annual legumes provide a large portion of the available palatable
forage produced at Ait Rbaa Grazing Perimeter, especially in
dryer years (around 30% in 1984-85). Within each forage type
(leguminous forbs, non-leguminous forbs and grasses), no
significant differences in production were detected among the
three levels of sulfur. Positive effects of the sulfur
application may emerge in future years. Given the data from the
initial two years of sampling, however, sulfur fertilization with
elemental sulfur shows little promise for increasing forage

Fertilization Trials: Plaine de L'Aarid

Stands of perennial grass species, which were established in
field trials planted on Plaine de L'Aarid Perimeter in 1970, have
persisted into the 1980's. The vigor and productivity of these
stands, however, has declined substantially. In September 1983,
technicians from the Midelt Field Office applied nitrogen (N) and

phosphorous (P) fertilizer to stands of Agropyron elongatum, A.
intermedium, A. trichophorum and Elymus junceus. The trials were
designed to show forage production response at various levels and
combinations of N and P. An experiment with a 5x5 factorial
design and four replications was installed. The N source was
ammonium nitrate at 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 kg/ha. The P source was
triple super-phosphate also applied at 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80
Agropyron elongatum and E. junceus plots were clipped in
mid-July 1984 to determine the response in productivity which
resulted from fertilizer treatments. No significant differences
were found among treatments. Limited precipitation during the
trial year made water such a limiting factor that possible
responses to fertilizer were unlikely. Current vegetative growth
on the A. intermedium and A. trichophorum stands was virtually
nonexistent that year. No production data was collected from the

Alpha-grass Trial: El Faija

Trials established on the Moulouya Plain in recent years
have produced little information other than the fact that, during
periods of drought, little or no plant establishment and growth
occurs due to insufficient soil moisture. Infrequent
precipitation and quick runoff when rain occurs, results in low
levels of available soil moisture. An increase in available soil
moisture could enhance plant establishment and subsequent forage
production under dry or more humid conditions. A trial to
determine the effects of integrating contour terracing into range
seeding efforts on burned Stipa tenacissima sites was established
on the El Faija Perimeter during the fall of 1985. The trial was
designed to assess the effectiveness of terraces constructed on
contours in reducing runoff and to assess the potential for
harvesting water (concentrating runoff from precipitation onto
productive zones).
Six contours were surveyed on the study area. A two tine
ripper with tines set one meter apart was used to rip soil along
contours to a depth of approximately 30 cm apart. Terraces were
constructed by hand along the lower edge of the ripped area. A
2x3 factorial split-plot experiment was designed where terraces
were tested as primary treatment plots and planting methods were
tested within plots. Three planting methods, compatible with the
terraces were evaluated: 1) the total surface area between the
terraces was planted, 2) the lower one half of the surface area
between the terraces was planted, and 3) no planting (control).
Previous research at El Faija had indicated the techniques
and species that were most likely to be effective. Conventional
seedbed preparation (plow, disc, and roll) prior to planting with
a grain drill has produced higher levels of plant establishment
than direct planting with a rangeland drill in the majority of
recent research and demonstration efforts. A mixture of seven
grasses (A. elongatum (Alkar), A. elongatum (Jose), A.
intermedium (Slate), A. intermedium (Tegmar), A. trichophorum
(Manden), A. trichophorum (Topar) and Dactylis glomerata
(PalestineTT and two legumes (Trifolium hirtum (Hykon) and Vicia
dasycarpa)) were seeded on the study area. Two species of

saltbush (Atriplex) shrub seedlings were transplanted at two
meter intervals in the trough above the terraces (if terraces
were not present shrubs were planted in the lower rip along each
contour). Atriplex nummularia was planted along the first,
second, fifth and sixth contours. Atriplex corrugata was planted
along the third and fourth contours of the study.
Terrace construction was continued up the slope to the
hilltop above the study area to prevent runoff damage to the
trials. Terraces were built along the contour, with one meter
increments in elevation between terraces until the hillside
became steep. The increments were then increased to one and one-
half meters, and finally to two meters.
Students from INAV Hassan II will monitor the trials for
effects on available soil moisture and corresponding changes in
the grass/legume mixture, shrub establishment and production.
Four moisture measurements should be taken in the interspace
between terraces in each treatment. The first should be taken
one and one-half meters above the lower terrace and the fourth
should be taken one and one-half meters below the upper terrace.
Two readings should be taken at equally spaced points between the
first and the fourth. Data collection at these locations would
enable the researcher to determine if seepage below the terraces
occurs, the effects of terracing and land treatment on soil
moisture between terraces.and the extent to which terraces
increase soil moisture in the catchment formed above the terrace.
One meter square sampling frames should be used to sample stand
density and production between terraces including the locations
where soil moisture is sampled. In addition, shrub survival rate
and productivity should be estimated.


Grazing Exclosures: Ain Beni Mathar

Four distinct vegetation types occur on the fenced 300 ha
experimental area at the Fritiss Grazing Perimeter. The need to
monitor these plant communities has been recognized due to the
changes in plant composition that have taken place over the last
two years with near average precipitation. A number of annual
forbs and grasses have been collected that were once thought to
be locally extinct.
With the idea that the Experiment Station will be used for\
grazing studies of various kinds, four 50 m x 50 m exclosures
were constructed in 1985, one in each of the four vegetation
types. Type #1 was a water collection area where a dense stand
of sagebrush had formed. Type #2 was an upland sagebrush site.
Type #3 was the sagebrush/alfa-grass transition zone and Type #4
was a unique site where sand from neighboring fallow fields has
been accumulating. Permanent transects were established for
monitoring purposes. Though quantifiable data on recovery is not
presently available, plans have been made to evaluate each plant
community annually.

Grazing Exclosures: Gouttitier Experimental Farm

The land upon which the Experimental Farm was established
has a history of mismanagement. With the completion of an
enclosure fence, much of the trespass grazing has been
eliminated. Since many sites in the region are similar in that
an on site native seed source appears to be virtually
nonexistent, monitoring the recovery of natural vegetation on the
area will give an indication of the response that can be expected
in other local reclamation efforts.
Two 50 m x 50 m exclosures were constructed during 1985 on
two different range sites on the Farm. Site #1 is in a degraded
sagebrush site which, after a single year of deferment from
grazing, has shown a remarkable recovery of vegetation. Site #2
is a degraded upland site occupied by a thin stand of sagebrush.
This area has also responded dramatically to deferment. Data on
recovery of these two sites will be collected annually.


During the 1983-84 growing season, the amount of available
forage was estimated weekly by clipping on two distinct range
sites at Ait Rbaa Perimeter (20 plots were clipped each week on
each site). The clippings from each plot were separated into
three components: grasses, legumes, and forbs. Samples were
stored on ice in the field then placed in an oven the same day
for 48 hours of drying at 800C. After weighing to determine
productivity, samples were ground in a mill and combined,
resulting in one sample per location per weekly sample date. The
milled samples were analyzed for crude protein and ash content
(minerals) by Dr. Hamid Narjisse at ENA in Meknes.
The two sites were fenced and excluded from grazing in 1982-
83. They were located on the eastern end of the perimeter and
represented: 1) ridgetop sites with shallow soils, and 2) swale
sites with deeper soils. The ridgetop site was dominated by
Malva parviflora with few grasses. The swale site was dominated
by Asphodelus tenuifolia with numerous grasses including Cynadon
dactylon and Stipa retorta.
Crude protein was selected as the criteria for evaluating
forage quality because it is the most expensive to supplement and
because it is often the most limiting nutritional factor for
ruminant maintenance and growth. Unfortunately, data for energy
were not available. Energy is usually the second most limiting
factor, and in this case, may well have been the primary
nutritional constraint. Data was compared using an analysis of
variance for a completely randomized block design.

Results and Discussion

Peak season forage production occurred on March 19th for the
ridgetop site and March 26th for the swale site (Table 1.15)
yielding 851.2 and 754.8 kg of oven dry forage per hectare,
respectively [Harkousse et al. (1984) for a discussion of the
production data]. Clipping began on December 12th when range
forage was actively growing following substantial precipitation.
This was the low point in production, but yielded the highest
levels of crude protein and ash. The level of crude protein in
samples from the swale site ranged from a high of 21.71% on a dry
matter basis (DM) on December 12th, to a low of 14.41% DM on
April 16th. The range of values for crude protein was from
25.56% on December 19th to 17.44% on April 16th for the ridgetop
site. Percentage of Ash (DM) followed the same trend indicating
some loss through leaching and maturation through the growth
The percentages of dry matter crude protein (Figure 1.27)
and ash (Figure 1.28) gradually declined as vegetation matured
through the growing season. Moisture caused an immediate growth
response in vegetation (until the time of seed dispersal)
regardless of its stage of growth. This quick growth response to
precipitation caused small increases in DM protein content
throughout the season.

Table 1.15. Kilos of oven dry forage per hectare, moisture
content, and crude protein and ash as a percent of dry matter.

S Moisture
of Total

Dec. 12
Jan. 2
Feb. 6
Mar. 5
Ar. 2


Grass Legue Forbs Total
4.00 14.40 159.8 178.2
0.24 .72 207.6 208.6
4.40 15.80 433.6 454.0
2.00 18.80 393.2 412.4
1.80 28.00 356.8 386.8
1.60 24.80 356.0 382.8
3.60 25.20 266.8 295.6
3.40, 32.00 331.0 372.0
3.20 34.00 336.0 373.2
16.00 34.80 346.0 371.2
4.40 29.20 352.0 385.6
23.60 42.40 323.2 289.6
26.80 54.40 313.6 395.2
16.80 54.00 428.4 499.6
37.60 77.20 555.4 670.2
56.40 102.80 595.4 754.8
27.80 87.80 392.8 508.4
74.60 45.60 575.4 695.6
22.40 40.40 432.4 495.6

a UpM. Oim 4 VALLc OLM

S Moisture
of Total

Figure 1.27. Forage crude protein Figure 1.28. Forage ash con-
content (dm basis), 1983-84. tent (dm basis), 1983-84.

An analysis of variance indicated that there were highly
significant differences (P<.01) between locations and between
dates of sampling (Table 1.16). Differences between sample dates
were normal and followed precipitation patterns and plant
development as expected. Real differences between locations
indicated that the forage base on sites dominated by Malva
parviflora and Medicago laciniata (the ridgetop sites) were truly
superior to those dominated by Asphodelus tenuifolia, Medicago


Protein Ash
S IZ Grass
21.71 18.28
20.29 21.40
20.03 19.58.
20.54 17.85
19.55 17.36
19.46 17.24
19.35 16.45 0.6
18.39 16.06
18.54 14.58
17.95 14.22
18.11 13.30
17.40 14.97
17.63 13.75
15.71 13.59
16.31 12.48 0.6
16.51 14.93 3.2
15.29 10.01 10.0
16.39 11.03 8.0
14.41. 9.12 6.0



Legume Forbs Total
18.0 184.6 202.6
14.0 219.4 233.4
36.4 544.8 581.2
55.6 544.0 600.0
74.0 605.6 680.0
56.4 480.4 536.8
80.4 616.8 698.0
45.4 608.4 653.4
73.6 654.8 728.4
50.8 523.2 574.0
79.2 698.0 777.0
64.4 522.0 586.4
84.8 558.4 643.2
72.0 528.4 615.8
140.4 690.2 831.2
137.6 649.6 790.4
69.0 499.0 578.0
110.4 440.4 558.8
70.4 396.4 473.2

1S 28 J2 16 23 J. r 13 20 27 US 12 19

a UNR-0 a2= 4 mAlY WSMl



laciniata, and Cynodon dactylon (the swale sites) as far as DM
crude protein content was concerned.

Table 1.16. Analysis of variance of crude protein content of
annual forage.


Location 1-1=1 87.04 87.04 67.47***
Date d-1=18 135.65 7.54 5.84*
Error [1-1][d-1]=18 23.14 1.29

Total id-1=38 245.83

*** Significant at P<.005.

It must be kept in mind that these crude protein figures
were calculated on a dry matter basis. One kilo of green forage
consumed by an animal on December 26 at Ait Rbaa would have, on
the average, provided only 133 g of dry matter (86.7% moisture
content). The same forage contained 20.03% crude protein DM.
This means that one kg of green material only contained 26.64 g
of crude protein, and even less digestible protein. A 50 kg
lactating ewe requires approximately 136 g of digestible protein
daily and 1800 g of dry matter. Therefore, she must consume
about 5.68 kg of green forage to satisfy her needs for protein,
and about 13.5 kg to satisfy her need for dry matter. It is
doubtful that a ewe could consume enough forage during a grazing
day at Ait Rbaa to satisfy her protein requirement. A ewe would
find it impossible to satisfy her dry matter needs. For this
reason, there is an obvious need to provide a supplement to the
native forage. Sheep in the area were, in fact, supplemented
heavily with various feeds including barley, beet pulp and straw.
There was both a forage quantity and quality problem at the
Ait Rbaa Perimeter. This conclusion lends credence to the
general opinion voiced by government service range management
personal in the region that this communal grazing land is simply
a holding area during the cereal production season, and it is not
expected to provide the requirements of livestock. This may also
provide some insight into the attitudes of right-users, who seem
resistant to the prospects of range improvements and who appear
unconcerned over the continuing degradation of the natural
resources of the Ait Rbaa Grazing Perimeter.


Existing Forage Resources

Moroccan rangelands are situated over a diverse range of
climatic and ecological zones, from desert shrublands to high
mountain grasslands. Good rangelands can usually be converted to
marginal croplands, and therefore more and more rangeland is
being converted to cultivated cereals crops each year by a
rapidly expanding population, even though little profit from
subsequent grain harvests can be realized. These crops do
provide a standing forage crop if only as stubble. By expanding
crop production activities into marginal areas, the Moroccan
producers have compensated for poor range condition by producing
a cereal crop, and at the same time, are controlling the land for
their personal use. Cereal crop subsidies and land tenure policy
by the GOM encourage this practice, making this practice feasible
for the individual at the long-term expense of rangeland
productivity and the communal rangeland users.
Pastoralism in Morocco has, nearly completely, given way to
an agro-pastoral way of life. In agricultural areas, where good
rangeland has been converted to poor cropland, pasturage is
scarce and the remaining range areas are used heavily (generally
in the complete absense of any kind of management or control).
Ait Rbaa Perimeter, located in the midst of a large area devoted
to cultivated agriculture, provides a vivid example of this kind
of abuse. Sheep depend on crop residues for a large portion of
their forage each year. After harvest, shepherds herd large
numbers of flocks through cropland to eat stubble and weeds. As
planting begins, livestock are withdrawn from cereal fields and
herded on communal rangeland until after the harvest. Here they
quickly consume emerging vegetation. Most herds, even on native
rangeland, receive large amounts of relatively costly
supplemental feeds such as barley and by-products from factories
which process agricultural products (sugar beets, cotton).
Moroccan rangeland is generally devoid of its original
component of palatable perennial herbaceous vegetation. Many
forage species, both legumes and grasses, which were reported as
present during the earlier USAID Range Improvement Project (608-
64-4) could not be found by a former team member of that project,
Mr. Walter Graves, during his TDY visit in 1985.
Soils on grazing perimeters were found to be severely eroded
and highly compacted. Runoff from precipitation was high, with
moisture rarely penetrating the soil in amounts adequate for
establishment of perennial forage plants, even in years of
greater than average rainfall.
Everywhere evidence of the need for range management and for
the adherence to its most basic concepts was observed. Not until
the range manager can control animal numbers and the timing of
their access to grazing, can he hope to substantially improve and
increase the range forage resource. This can only be done
effectively through the cooperation of people using the resource.
The benefits to the people must be determined, demonstrated and
developed if the trend toward further degradation is to change.

Alternatives for Rangeland Forage Production

Establishment of perennial introduced species has been
generally difficult and expensive. Stands which have become
established, such as those in the perimeters administered by the
Midelt Office, are the result of adequate seasonal precipitation
and hard work on the part of range technicians. Though a number
of stands, composed of introduced species from the genus
Agropyron, are managed at Plaine de 1'Aarid Perimeter; the
condition of these stands has undergone substantial natural
deterioration in the years since their initial planting. No
juvenile plants are present and all remaining grass plants are
overmature with some stands in need of renovation.
Warm-season grasses, even when of native origin, have proven
to be difficult to establish on Moroccan rangelands. Seeds are
generally small and expensive to purchase. Successful
establishment depends upon good precipitation during and after
germination and careful control of planting depth by technicians.
The possibility of failure is too great to make this an
economical venture unless techniques are improved.
Experience indicates that seeding of most introduced species
in range improvement programs is an intervention that is
generally too risky to be assumed by private producers. A farmer
would rather have a poor stand of barley or wheat from which he
may obtain some grain and stubble, than a year lost to barren
ground and weeds. Years of adequate seasonal precipitation,
sufficient to establish adequate stands of these species, are too
rare to guarantee any measure of their success in many areas.
The potential displayed by plants native to Morocco is the
most promising aspect of the Project work with range forage
species. Among these plants are ecotypes highly adapted to
climatic and soil conditions on the grazing perimeters. Among
accessions from the native seed collection being propogated at
the PMC and undergoing trials at the grazing perimeters, there
were annual species which have the ability to produce the large
amounts of seed necessary to maintain a presence on managed
communal rangeland. Leguminous annuals, especially from the
genus Medicago, exhibit many vegetative growth forms which may
allow them to persist and produce forage under heavy grazing
pressure. These species characteristically produce forage of
high quality and produce large amounts of seed. Their use may be
one key to reducing the risk of failure of an investment in range
revegetation in some zones.
Several basic range planting techniques were tested in the
Midelt area. The rangeland drill, which scarifies soil surfaces
and seeds in areas of rough topography, did not prove effective
during drought years. The need for preparing an adequate seedbed
was only accentuated under such environmental conditions. Soil
surfaces needed to be disturbed and competition from existing
vegetation had to be reduced. Conventional seedbed preparation
methods, using a plow, a disc and a roller, were most successful.
Because soils are eroded and compacted, rainfall generally
runs off without significantly penetrating the soil crust. Range
improvement methods which increase penetration of water through
the soil surface, and prevent runoff are potentially worthwhile
investments. Ripping of the soil and the construction of
terraces on the contour were highly successful range improvements

installed at Ain Beni Mathar, Gouttitier, and Ait Rbaa Grazing
Perimeters. Ripping and terracing activities at the El Faija
site, though not yet one year old, appear to have had a marked
positive effect on revegetation and forage production.
Attempts to improve range productivity using chemical
fertilizers were unsuccessful. Fertilization with elemental
sulfur at Ait Rbaa Grazing Perimeter did not produce detectable
improvement after two years. Forms of sulfur that are more
available in the soil may produce different results and should be
investigated. Adding various amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous
to rangeland soils near Midelt did not induce marked differences
in plant density or production in drought years. In addition,
fertilization is probably too costly to be included in range
improvement programs unless very dramatic increases in production
can be expected. The adage that "fertilization of soils
receiving less than 300 mm of precipitation is valueless",
appears to be correct in Morocco.
Range improvement research and species adaptability trials
are necessary research which must continue. DE/SP must either
decide to dedicate personnel and materials to research, or make
the proper contractual agreements to continue range research in
identified topical areas through the auspices of existing
research organizations (such as INRA, INAV, ENA, and programs
such as SR-CRSP).


The following recommendations are offered based upon
observation and research at the Project sites:

1) Continue to move forward toward control of grazing
through organization of people. No range improvement
concerning range vegetation can be made without
adequate control of animal numbers and the timing and
duration of grazing.

2) Improvement of Moroccan rangeland is possible through
manipulation of the soil surface and redistribution of
water. Soil ripping and construction of terraces
should be considered prior to seeding on some
rangelands. Where native residual plant cover still
exists, the treatment can be used to capture rainfall
and increase productivity without seeding.

3) Development and use of native species must be expanded
if a seeding program is to continue. Even the most
adapted introduced species can be difficult to
establish. Among the limited native species collection
initiated by the Project, there are promising forage
species which can be used to produce a nutritious,
highly palatable forage base capable of reestablishment
from seed under adverse conditions.

Only with a combination of range improvement techniques and
development of adapted forage species can a range manager reduce
the risk of failing to establish a stand. Only through reducing

risk of rangeland seeding can seeding of denuded range be a
viable alternative accessible to producers. The acceptance of
rangeland management in the private sector, however, is not the
only consideration. Large scale government direction and
investment is necessary in order to conserve degrading Moroccan
The continual push of dryland farming into marginally
productive areas has accounted for an irreparable loss of topsoil
and the local extinction of many forage plant species.
Government intervention and expenditure will be necessary to
conserve the natural resources of soil and vegetation, even if
only to protect watersheds. The continued investment in dryland
farming, by the Moroccan government and USAID, without a balanced
effort in the rangeland production sector, is a policy which
heralds the deterioration and disappearance of more Moroccan
rangeland. It is a program which will undoubtedly provoke
dangerous ecological and economic consequences at the national



Animal production activities of the Moroccan Range
Management Improvement Project were organized into two
components. The first component, the Producer Study, was a
survey of local livestock producers' activities at project sites.
The study-was designed to gain an understanding of current
management systems, production levels and available resources; to
identify present and potential problems faced by livestock
producers; and to provide an entree to permit the introduction of
improved methods to producers. An understanding of current
practices, resources, and production levels realized by livestock
producers, more effectively ensured that recommendations
addressing observed critical problems were appropriate for
producers' operations.
The second component consisted of cooperative demonstration
and applied research programs with producers. In general, these
activities were geared towards finding a workable solution to a
problem detected in the Producer Study (first component), or as a
means to introduce new ideas and techniques to producers. Three
areas to improve livestock production were investigated in the
second component:

the introduction of the short scrotum technique as a means
of addressing the problem of indiscriminate breeding in
Moroccan sheep flocks,

a sheep classification and selection program as a method
for eliminating defective animals from sheep flocks and
increasing meat and wool production, and

an investigation into more efficient use of the limited
resources available to low income producers through
alternative livestock management techniques.


The Producers Study consisted of interviews with, and
observations of, selected livestock producers in order to obtain
information on their management systems. Entire flocks owned by
selected livestock producers were observed for management
practices and general information on herd structure.
Quantitative information was derived from subsamples drawn from
each flock. Visits to producers' farms were made every four
weeks to weigh animals and talk to producers. Intermediate
visits were made as necessary. During interviews, flock
locations, vegetation types grazed, kinds and quantities of
supplemental feeds fed to the livestock, health care practices
employed (both prophylactic and curative), and any other
activities related to livestock management that had occurred
since the previous visit were discussed. In the course of these
interviews, information concerning replacement and culling
criteria and related programs were gathered. It was also learned
what livestock other than small ruminants were raised.

Information acquired through interviews would then be
supported by observation of ongoing activities. People
associated with livestock production, but not directly involved
in the Producer Study, provided aid in keeping track of current
livestock production activities and gave insights as to why
certain management decisions were made.
The Producer Study design as originally conceived was
altered as constraints were encountered. Technicians' work
schedules were tight and their time limited. Therefore, in-depth
investigations into the quality and quantity of available forage
resources utilized and animal behavior were not possible.
Rather, the effort was limited to recording kinds of forage
grazed and general flock locations. Emphasis was placed on
livestock operations and management decisions. The length of
time available to conduct the study did not permit the collection
of data with seasonal overlaps. Estimates had to be made to
project production cycles over a calendar year.
Moroccan counterparts proved invaluable in the initiation of
studies and in providing insights. However, counterparts rarely
accompanied technicians on routine producer visits (an exception
was in Beni Mellal where the Moroccan technicians actually
conducted the study). Increased counterpart participation
undoubtedly would have enhanced information exchange and the
effectiveness of the data collection.
Though these constraints are acknowledged, the study did
achieve its goal of providing a documented background
understanding of Moroccan livestock production systems.
Resources allocated to improve the livestock sector can now be
more easily directed towards addressing critical problems that
will be appropriate within a producer's operation.
Cooperation from producers involved was good. Working
within the producers' systems to follow the animals' progress did
have its drawbacks, but the benefits of the effort outweighed the
negative aspects because it provided a clearer understanding of
producers' attitudes and operations. Frustrations did occur.
For example, tagged animals that were part of the sample
occasionally disappeared, only to reappear in the next period
without explanation.
Producers set aside time from their schedules to describe
their systems and answer questions. Most producers aided in
monitoring their animals and expressed an interest in weight
fluctuations, having received copies of updated animal records
during each visit. Technicians' advice and assistance was sought
to overcome current problems from time to time. Field days on
herd performance by TDY specialist, Dr. Jack Ruttle, were well
received by producers. In addition, they participated in ram
examinations and exchanged views on animal performance and care.
The grading of wool generated less producer interest in some
cases, though they readily conceded that kemp and hair was a
negative factor effecting wool marketing. Nevertheless, the
overall perception of producers' attitudes- by Project staff is
concern about livestock production problems and genuine interest
in methods to overcome them. However, the final acceptance of
new methods or suggestions that they invest their own capital, is
generally tempered with caution on the part of the producers.
At the inception of the study, one objective was not only to
determine the vegetation types grazed by a flock, but the

quantity and nutritional value of the forage available as well.
Measures of forage quality and quantity could provide a reference
for explaining why weight fluctuations occurred. Initially,
plots were clipped and fodder shrub presence estimated to
quantify the amount of forage available to herds. Because of
time and other constraints, both quality and quantity
measurements were dropped from the study shortly after its
inception. For the same reasons, studies in animal behavior
pertaining to diet selection and animal activity were also
eliminated from the study. Facilities were not readily available
to analyze forage quality, therefore, data analysis and
interpretation centered on forage quantity estimates and existing
forage quality information.
It became apparent early in the studies that no excess
forage was available (continuous grazing often maintained
vegetation height below a level at which it could be clipped).
Diet selection was based on palatable plants present, and
behavior was dictated by the herder, except during periods of
high temperature when animals would cease searching for forage.
Further information that might have been gathered through
the continuation of these studies did not warrant the time
required to collect the data. Primary investigations did
quantify the extreme conditions under which livestock are
produced, and enabled technicians to examine the areas grazed.
They were able to observe methods and daily procedures in herding
the flocks.
During the fall of 1985, producers involved in the Producer
Study had their sheep vaccinated against respiratory and
gastrointestinal diseases, smallpox and enterotoxemia, and
treated for parasites by the project. This activity was a
demonstration of recommended health care practices and a display
of appreciation for the producers' continued cooperation. As
animals were treated, their sex and age were determined and
recorded. Sex and age ratios were later established for each
herd. The opportunity was also utilized to inquire further about
producer attitudes towards animal health care and preventive
health programs practiced.
A subsample of twenty ewe/lamb pairs was chosen from each
producer's herd, identified with ear tags and monitored
throughout the study. Lambs were monitored to establish growth
rates and marketing tactics. Ewes were monitored for weight
fluctuations throughout their reproductive cycles and for lambing
frequency during the study. Lambs born to ewes in the subsample
had their birth dates recorded, were weighed and ear tagged, and
included in the subsample. Breeding dates were fixed by counting
back from parturition dates. An effort was made to include lamb
numbers that reflected sex and age proportions in the herd.
Producers helped select the ewe/lamb pairs. The sample was
probably biased towards higher producing animals as a result.
One producer's herd contained less than the desired twenty
ewe/lamb pairs so the entire herd was monitored. Ewes and lambs
were weighed every twenty-eight days. Producers corral their
sheep and goats at night without food or water. This management
practice served as a shrink period prior to weight collections.
Wool quality and kemp presence were evaluated for ewes and
lambs in the subsamples, and for breeding rams by Dr. Ruttle as
part of an animal performance field day. Data from these animals

was used to indicate fleece quality in the producers' herds. Dr.
Ruttle checked rams for epididymitis and collected and evaluated
semen samples to identify ram fertility problems. Ewes in the
subsample were also examined for udder development and fertility
problems. Since presence of a lamb was criteria for selection
into the subsample, detection of infertility in the ewes was not
expected and none was found. Although herd structure information
was recorded, no ewes were examined for fertility outside the
study subsamples. An indication of ewe fertility was given in
another program where fertility was included as a criteria for
selection into a breeding herd.
The Producer Study met with various levels of success at the
different project sites. Production levels and operation
management information gathered for the Middle Atlas and the
Moulouya Plain (Azrou and Midelt) was good, and provided insights
into limitations and potential of livestock production there. No
attempt was made to examine current practices in Oujda. However,
in Oujda, a complementary study to determine a possible method to
control indiscriminate breeding, and an extension program to
improve herd performance through selection, were carried out with
project guidance and assistance. At Beni Mellal, the efforts to
investigate production systems produced mixed results. A summary
of producers' management decisions and operations was written,
but initial data on herd performance was limited. Since his
return from short course training in the United States in August
1985, Mohamed Driouich (Ingenieur d'Application in Beni Mellal),
collected reliable production data. Unfortunately, the available
time remaining in the Producer Study was too short to allow
complete data collection, thus limited conclusions have been
drawn from it.
Producers participating in the Producer Study were not
randomly selected, but were chosen to represent various segments
of the livestock producer community. Producer willingness to
cooperate during initial visits was also a major factor in final
selection. To facilitate data collection and complete the study
goals, it was more important to have willing participants than a
statistically valid sample. When possible, the Project staff
attempted to select producers who were also involved with the
Project Agro-Pastoral Systems Study.
The results of the study are presented below. The results
are segregated according to project sites to illustrate
differences in livestock production that might occur across
Morocco. A general description of the selected sample is given
prior to results for each study site. If major differences
occurred among producers within a site, these differences are
noted. Given the method of sample selection and the limited
sample size, the results are not statistically valid, but they do
serve as indicators of sheep production and associated problems
in areas surrounding project sites.


Current Livestock Production

Five producers participated in the study at Midelt.
Categorized by relative wealth, four were considered to be in the
middle income category and one was considered to be in the low
income category for livestock producers in the region. All have
access to communal land. Two of the four middle income producers
were also permitted to graze at least a portion of their flocks
for part of the year on Plaine de L'Aarid Perimeter. The four
middle income producers owned, or had access to cropland, and
utilized crop residues as a forage source. Producer land
holdings ranged in size from 10 to 25 hectares. Crops varied
between producers, but all produced wheat and barley. Barley was
grown almost exclusively for livestock consumption. The low
income producer did not have access to crop residues and in
general, had limited resources for livestock production. Flock
numbers reflected the two groups' resource bases. The middle
income producers owned between two and three hundred sheep, and
the low income producer had less than twenty. Results will be
presented separately for the two income levels.
Herd Characteristics
Sheep comprise the bulk of livestock owned in the Midelt
area (Figures 2.1 and 2.2). Goats, equines, and cattle are also
present, but in much reduced numbers. The low income producer
had roughly as many goats as sheep.







Figure 2.1. Livestock species, class, and number owned by the
low income producer in the Midelt area sample.

,'.f -'






Figure 2.2. Livestock species, class, and average numbers owned
by the middle income producers in the Midelt area sample.

Low numbers of three year old ewes present in sheep flocks
in Midelt (Figures 2.3 and 2.4) may be attributed to the recent
drought. A combination of low and middle income producers' herds
provided a ram to ewe ratio averaging approximately 1:21. Rams
remain with the ewes throughout the year. One producer, however,
owned 28 yearling rams that were to be marketed and these were
kept separately from the ewes. These speculation rams were
included in the determination of ram age distribution, but not to
calculate the ram to ewe ratio.



Figure 2.3. Age and sex distribution of sheep
income producer in the Midelt area sample.

owned by the low



; v VsK \



Figure 2.4. Average age and sex distribution of sheep owned by
the middle income producers in the Midelt area sample.

The average weight for rams throughout the year in the
Midelt area was 33.6 kg, the average weight for ewes throughout
the year was 28.8 kg, and the average weights for ram lambs and
ewe lambs at nine months of age were 26.7 and 21.0 kg,

Flock Movement and Management

In Morocco, sheep and goats are generally corralled at
night. When animals are located near the producer's dwelling,
the corral is generally an enclosed room. Predation is
considered a possible problem. One kid, for example, was
reported lost to a fox during the study.
All producers used communal land, keeping herds in areas
dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia herba-alba) from spring to late
fall, and moving the animals to alpha-grass (Stipa tenacissima)
for winter forage. The low income producer, however, began to
graze alpha-grass sites in early fall. Access to communal land
was possible for all producers from their permanent dwellings.
In addition, one producer rented rights to a mountain pasture
(Tacksmiert), where he grazed his flock from late April until
January. Generally, animals belonging to this producer are moved
to Tacksmiert because of its abundant early season forage, and
are returned to the area around his house when forage becomes
scarce at Tacksmiert and severe weather imperils animal health.
All the middle income producers had access to crop residues.
Except for the producer whose sheep were moved to the mountain
meadow, crop residues were utilized from June to August. Flocks
spent most of the day grazing residues, and grazed native
vegetation while moving between crop residue sites.
Two producers were allowed to graze animals on Plaine de
L'Aarid Perimeter from June to December. Both of these producers
took advantage of this right, except for a period in June and

I _

July when one producer pulled his flock off the perimeter to
graze crop residues. The other producer maintained a split herd
with one flock on the perimeter and the other on crop residues.
The degree to which flocks are divided for management
purposes depends heavily on labor availability. One producer
combined his flocks in the fall because of a labor shortage
resulting from his children returning to school. While rams are
run with the ewes throughout the year, most producers separate
lactating ewes from the herd to facilitate supplemental feeding
programs. A few of the producers included late gestation ewes in
this group. Often, young (less than one month old) and weak
lambs were kept at the house during the day and returned to the
ewes at night. The flock grazed together during the day and then
the older lambs (5 months plus) were penned separately at night.
The low income producer stated that the reason he did not wean
his lambs prior to their being sold was because he felt that milk
is a constant and free supplement for lambs (the literature
indicates that the ewe is essentially dry 4 months after
parturition, and the stress caused by the constant annoyance of
the older lambs often causes ewes to fail to rebreed).
Barley was the most common form of supplemental feed and was
used by all producers. Rates ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 kilograms
per animal per day, depending upon forage availability and the
producer. Other supplements fed to livestock included corn, corn
stover, sugar beet pulp, alfalfa, straw and Cicalim (Cicalim is a
commercially available protein supplement). Producers fed
supplements to the entire herd beginning in December and
continued until forage became more readily available in the
spring. Lactating ewes and lambs were fed supplements earlier in
the fall, as the decline in available forage dictated.

Natality, Mortality and Marketing

Lambs were born throughout the year, but there was a higher
incidence of parturition during certain periods. Fall (October -
early November), winter (early mid December), and spring (mid
January early March) were noted as the most active lambing
periods during the study. All ewes selected for the study
subsample had lambs at the time they were selected. Information
gathered in another study (Selection and Classification Program)
indicated that approximately fifteen percent of the ewe herd
could be expected to have reproductive problems and be incapable
of producing a lamb. Since presence of a lamb was criteria to be
selected for the subsample these infertile animals were not
candidates to be included.
Fifty-seven percent of the lambs present at the initiation
of the study were born in the Spring '85 period. Thirteen
percent of the lambs were born in the Fall '84 period and thirty
percent were born in the December '84 period. Ninety-three
percent of the ewes in the subsample gave birth again during the
study. Four percent of these second lambs were born within eight
to ten months after the previous lamb. Fifty percent were born
twelve months after the initial study lamb. Thirty-eight percent
to as much as forty-five percent were born fourteen to sixteen
months later, and one to a maximum of eight percent (if all ewes
in the subsample lambed again) were born at least eighteen months
after the first lamb. Numbers of second lambs born during the

spring, winter, and fall periods were in similar percentages as
the original lambs. Percentages of ewes, whose original lambs
were born in the spring, winter, and fall periods, that lambed
again within a twelve month period were 46%, 3% and 82% by
period, respectively (Table 2.1). The data indicate that only
approximately half of the ewes in the subsample (the productive
group) produced a lamb on an annual basis during the study. When
the entire ewe population is considered, the percentage of ewes
producing lambs on an annual basis was even lower. This low
productivity is a major problem facing Moroccan livestock

Table 2.1. Lambing intervals and number of lambs born during
each interval in the Midelt area sample.

OF THE STUDY 8 10 12 14 16 18 TOTALS

FALL 84 13 PAIRS (13%) 0 ( 0%) 0 ( 0%) 6 ( 6%) 4 ( 4%) 2 ( 2%) 1 ( 1%) 13 (13%)
DECEMBER-04 30 PAIRS (30%) 0 ( 0%) 1 ( 1%) 0 ( 0%) 22 (22%) 2 ( 2%) 25 (25%)
SPRING 84 57 PAIRS (57%) .2 ( 2%) 1 ( 1%) 44 (44%) 8 ( 8%) 55 (55%)
TOTALS 100 PAIRS (100%) 2 ( 2%) 2 ( 2%) 50 (50%) 34 (34%) 4*( 4%) 1*( 1%) 93 (93%)
() Percent of the number of ewe-lamb pairs is shown in parentheses.
* The study ended prior to these lambing intervals.

Information on expected animal death loss percentage was
acquired through interviews with the producers. The middle
income producers reported that approximately three percent of the
breeding herd and seven percent of the lambs (less than nine
months of age) died annually. The low income producer said that
losses varied with the availability of forage, but that death
losses could be expected to be as high as thirty percent of the
breeding herd and fifty percent of the lambs annually during a
harsh year. Infertile ewes, low annual lambing rates, and death
losses combined to produce a limited lamb crop for the Midelt
region. The lamb crop, calculated as the number of lambs raised
to a marketable age annually divided by the number of ewes in the
breeding herd, was determined to be 42% for the middle income
producers and 35% for the low income producer in the Midelt
The majority of the middle income producers' lambs that were
sold from the subsample were born during the Winter '84 and
Spring '85 periods, and sold during July and August, 1985. That
period corresponded to Aid El Kbir when prices generally rise.
One producer sold 5 one year old rams per week between late June
and late August to benefit from the price increase. Smaller
numbers of animals were sold throughout the remainder of the
year, as income was required. As a result of high lamb death
loss (Table 2.2), and the need to replace lost ewes to maintain
herd size, the low income producer did not sell or slaughter any
animals during the period in which the study was conducted.

Table 2.2. Distribution of sales, slaughters and deaths of lambs
and ewes in the Midelt area sample. [Numbers of animals are
shown by data collection periods (28-day intervals). The study
began April 4, 1985 and ended March 6, 1986.]

,uSi 5 L -- -- --- PUOC L5 o i03 I
--- I jT 000 mi rrV rco 14-i-iTI

SI-A-roL 0 A t t OLD I 0 0 0 0
0 0 -0 0 O 0.... 3 0 1
ABAT0 SOl 0 0 0 0 0 0 r Ir 0 0 0 0 O 0 0 0 0
1OT 01010 so 0 0 0 Ho oo
SOND SOLO 0 0 0 0 0 0 An AToIR 0 o 0 0 0 0
I_____ mI 0 0 0 0 OI 0 0 I 0 0 0
** 0-I 0 I 0 0 0 0 UTTI 0 0 0 0 0 0 I 0
-- f -- -- = -rj- --s ,r
in.l S. Ls ol o 0, o o a r1m SOLD o 0 i Ia o IoSaD
T 0 I 0 0 0 0 AlTTO 0 0 0 I 0 I
So o o o I I
1*TBHL 0 OT 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

S -o o o o o I F -- T o o- 0 I I | ,-- o o
AATTOIR o 0 0 0Il l ATT OLD 0 a 0 I I o 0 I
03010 0 0 0 0 0 a
ABT TI 0 0 0 0 0 a i Ol0 I t I O 0 0 O 0

ABATTODIR 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0I : 0 0 00
Ssw O 0 I a 0 0 0 I SO 0 0 00 00 0
ABATTOI O 0 0 AAITOI 00 0 0 0

I-W In o A. "1.

19 a a I ss.) ... -

Health Care

During the study, producers relied heavily on the health
care provided by the Project. It is not known what practices
would have been followed if the Project program had not been
available. Treatment dates, treatments, and dosages provided the
producers' sheep and goats were:



1985 Valbazen (2.5 ml/kg of bodyweight)
1985 Enterovac (adults and older lambs 2 ml; less
than 3 months 1 ml)
1985 Ovipox (0.5 ml to animals over 3 months)
1986 Valbazen (2.5 ml/kg of bodyweight)

Sheep that were moved onto Plaine de 1'Aarid Perimeter received
Enterovac in June 1985. This treatment is required for all
animals that use the perimeter and is provided at no cost to the
producer. Two of the middle income producers provided other
treatments at their own expense. One producer administered
Panicur to his sheep for what he described as stomach problems in
August, and the other producer treated his animals with Coglovax
8 in June and with Ranide in August. The low income producer
treated his lambs and kids twice in January with Enterovac and
Combiotic D to treat diarrhea. Death losses were high due to
this illness. A list of medicines and their uses is shown in
Table 2.3.

- -

Table 2.3. Medicines administered to sheep and goats owned by
producers in the Producer Study.

ANTELVETE Lung Parasites Oral C
COGLOVAX 8 Enterotoxemia Injection P
COMBIOTIC D Antibiotic Injection C
ENTEROVAC Enterotoxemia Injection P
ENTEROVAL Enterotoxemia Injection P
EXHELM II Internal Parasites Oral C
HATELVELE Enterotoximia Injection P
MULTIVAC Enterotoxemia Injection P
OVIPOX Smallpox Injection P
PANICUR Gastrointestinal/Resp. Parasites Oral C
RANIDE Internal Parasites Oral C
RANIZOLE Internal Parasites Oral C
VALBAZEN Internal Parasites Oral C

Ram Fertility

During the course of the study in the Midelt region,
nineteen rams were checked for fertility problems. Three of the
nineteen rams (15.8%) were sterile. Two of these (10.5% of the
rams examined) had epididymitis. Five other rams (26.3%) were
considered to be of marginal fertility with low sperm motility
(50 75% motility) and slow movement and/or poor sperm
concentration. Eleven (57.9%) of the rams checked were sound
with motility at 80 to 90 percent, and with good movement and
sperm concentration.

Replacement and Cull Animals

Three of the five producers in the study selected young
female lambs as replacement ewes based primarily on the criteria
of survivability. The other two indicated that overall
appearance influenced their choice with weak lambs being
eliminated. One producer said thickness of tail and amount of
meat on the backbone, signs of a healthy animal, were the
criteria he used. As a result of these selection criteria, and a
desire to increase herd size, most female lambs were kept and
placed in the breeding herd.
Age appeared to be the chief criteria for culling animals.
Weak animals may first be given supplements to improve their
vigor, and if improvement does not occur, they are sold. One
producer listed his criteria for culling animals as age, lamb
production, health, appearance, condition of teeth, and eating
habits. Culled animals are usually sold at the local souk
(market). Few if any producers weigh animals or keep written

Weight Gains for Ewes and Lambs

Ewes showed a tendency to gain weight during the period from

April through June and to lose weight during the other months.
Weight fluctuations reflected the availability of forage.
Contrary to what might be expected, ewes often lost weight
throughout gestation (Figures 2.5 and 2.6). This nutritional
problem no doubt at least partially explains why reproductive
rates and weaned lamb production are so low. In addition,
internal parasite load tends to amplify the problem.

S 0.10-
0.08 -
W 0.05-
0.01 -
--0.01 -

P-1 P-2 P-3 P-4 P-5 P-6 P-7 P-8 P- P-10 P-11 P-12

Figure 2.5. Average daily weight change during twelve, 28-day
periods for ewes owned by the low income producer in the Midelt
area sample.

S0.0 -
0.01 -

--0.02 -
--0.02 -
S-0.03 -
P-1 P-2 P-3 P-4 P-5 P-a p-7 P-8 p-0 P--0 P-11 P-12

Figure 2.6. Average daily weight change during twelve, 28-day
periods for ewes owned by the middle income producers in the
Midelt area sample.

Weight changes were similar for both low and middle income
producers' lambs though lambs belonging to the middle income
producers were generally larger.
The original study lambs gained weight from the study
inception until June. Weight gains stabilized from June to
December, and then weights declined until February when slight
gains were again seen. The low income producer had a summer lamb
which failed to gain much weight after the first two months (a
point when the ewe probably had little if any milk) and was soon
surpassed by fall lambs. New lambs born to the ewes included in
the subsample (fall, winter and spring periods) all showed gains
during the study (Figures 2.7 and Fig. 2.8).

2 20
i s- DECEM ER-84
2 16
12 SPRI -85
m 10

FAL 85
2 SUM / SPR_ -86

4/4 5/2 5/30 6/27 7/25 8/22 9/1910/1711/1412/12 1/6 2/6 3/6

Figure 2.7. Average weights of lambs owned by the low income
producer in the Midelt area sample (~28-day intervals; April 4,
1985 through March 6, 1986).
S 26
24 FA 84
SDECEM ER-84 .. .
18 -
16 -

m 12

1 6- -as

2 FA 5DECE -

4/4 5/2 5/30 6/27 7/25 8/22 9/1910/1711/14/2/12 1/6 2/6 3/6
Figure 2.8. Average'weights of lambs owned by the middle income
producers in the Midelt area sample (~28-day intervals; April 4,
1985 through March 6, 1986).

Wool Production

Sheep were shorn in the Midelt region from mid May to late
June. These periods corresponded to just before and after
Ramadan. Average raw fleece weight was approximately 1.5 kg per
ewe and 2.5 kg per ram, or about 1.6 kg per breeding animal.
Only ewe-lamb pairs in the subsample and rams were evaluated
for wool quality and kemp presence. Spinning count wool grades
ranged from 40 to 56 for the ewes and lambs (a spinning count of
50 is considered the lower limit of the fine wools). Ewes were
evenly spread between the 40, 44, 50 and 54 grades. The majority
of lambs and all of the rams fell in the 40 and 44 grade ranges.
Kemp was present on 26% of the ewes (Table 2.4), 34% of the lambs
(Table 2.5), and 36% of the rams (Table 2.6). No difference in
wool quality was observed between the low and middle income
producers' sheep. Therefore, the results were aggregated to
present the results.

Table 2.4. Ewe wool quality and presence of kemp in the Midelt
area sample (0 is no kemp and ++ is abundant).

Table 2.5. Lamb wool quality
area sample (O is no kemp and

Table 2.6.
area sample

and presence of kemp in the Midelt
++ is abundant).

Ram wool quality and presence of kemp in the Midelt
(0 is no kemp and ++ is abundant).

RANKING 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 ANIMALS
-++ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
+ 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
8 0 4 0 0 8 0 5 0 25
0 16 0 30 1 1 21 0 17 2 88
ANIMALS 29 0 35 1 1 29 0 22 2 119

RANKING 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 ANIMALS
++ 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
+ 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
23 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 30
0 46 0 11 1 0 6 0 3 1 68
AMIMALS 73 0 14 1 0 6 0 3 1 103

RANKING 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 ANIMALS
++ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
+ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
0 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
ANIMALS 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 11

The majority of wool produced is kept for domestic use
(blankets, sleeping pads, djellabas). Only one producer
regularly sells wool, selling half and keeping half for domestic
use. Wool sold was marketed at local souks. Another producer
indicated that he sold wool when he had extra, and felt the
quality was sufficiently good to draw a high price. He judged
quality by weight, the heavier the fleece the higher the price.
When wool is sorted in the souks prior to being resold, weight is
often used as the criteria for quality.


Current Livestock Production

Three producers participated in the Producer Study at
Timahdite (Azrou). Categorized according to wealth and
resources, all three producers would be considered to be in the
middle income range for the Timahdite region. All had access to
communal land, owned and leased cropland, and utilized crop
residues as a forage source. The size of the land holdings
ranged from 20 to 53 ha of dryland, and 9 to 71 ha of irrigated
cropland. All producers grew wheat and barley. Areas planted to
wheat in 1985 ranged from 8 to 12 ha. Land planted to barley
which was grown primarily for livestock consumption ranged from
10 to 14 ha. Flocks owned by producers in the Producer Study
ranged in size from 215 to 349 sheep in the fall of 1985.

Herd Characteristics

Sheep account for most of the livestock in the Timahdite
region (Figure 2.9). Goats, equines, and cattle are also owned,
but in considerably smaller numbers. Numbers of animals for each
age group are fairly consistent for both sexes (Figure 2.10).
Although, by animal number count, the ram to ewe ratio is
approximately one to twenty-nine, the producers claim that during
the breeding season the ratio is one ram for every 32 to 40 ewes.
Rams remain with the ewes throughout the year.


Figure 2.9. Livestock species, class, and average numbers owned
by the producers in the Timahdite area sample.

u .

Z 30-

a. 20



Figure 2.10. Average age and sex distribution of sheep owned by
the producers in the Timahdite area sample.

The average weight for rams throughout the year in the
Timahdite region was 34.7 kg, the average weight for ewes was
29.9 kg, and the average weight for ram lambs and ewe lambs at
nine months of age were 23.6 and 21.6 kg, respectively.

Flock Movement and Management

Sheep are corralled at night in an enclosed area next to or
in the producer's house, or in a corral constructed next to the
herder's tent. From April through July, the producers kept their
sheep at their houses and grazed communal land within a 3 to 5
kilometer radius. In August the flocks were split, with
lactating ewes and old, poor condition ewes being kept at the
house, fed supplements, and allowed to graze crop residues. The
lambs were separated from the ewes during the day and placed with
the ewes at night. As the lambs developed they were selected on
an individual basis to graze with the ewes. Weaned spring lambs
were often kept with this herd. The other animals were moved
away from the house and corralled next to tents.
During the study, two of the producers herded their flocks
away from the house on crop residues. They had moved their sheep
in order to have easier access to the fields. The third producer
moved his animals to a mountain range in order to take advantage
of sagebrush and thymus (Thymus capitatus) range that was still
relatively high in forage availability. The mountain range was
depleted by early August and the flock was returned to the house
to join the other sheep on crop residues. In late fall, the
producers returned their herds to communal land and grazed the
regrowth of native vegetation. Late gestating and lactating ewes
were kept separate from the rams, dry ewes, and older lambs.
From January through March, the animals were kept indoors at
night, fed supplements and allowed to graze communal land, as
weather permitted.

Rams received approximately 0.4 kg of barley per day
throughout the year. Salt blocks are available year round in the
corrals. Starting in late summer, spring lambs and old ewes are
fed supplements. The rates and kinds of supplements fed varied
among producers. For example, one producer fed lambs alfalfa
free choice and 0.16 kg of Granulant 90 (Granulant 90 is a
commercially prepared protein supplement) per lamb per day with
some barley. Another producer fed only those lambs that were
eventually to be sold daily rations of 0.1 kg of barley and 0.2
kg of Cicalim per animal. Old ewes received 0.2 kg of barley
each day. The third producer fed lambs and old ewes 0.2 kg of
barley per head per day. As the producer prepared to sell the
old ewes, he would increase their barley ration to 0.8 kg/day.
In late fall, all of the producers began to feed those ewes that
had lambs 0.15 to 0.3 kg of barley per ewe per day. Once the
weather became severe, producers supplied hay to the entire herd.

Natality, Mortality and Marketing

The producers reported that most lambs were born between
October and November, or between March and May, though lambs
could be born at any time during the year. As in the Midelt
area, all ewes selected to be in the study subsample had lambs at
the time that they were tagged. Twenty-five percent of the
initial lambs were born in the fall period (October November),
27% of the lambs were born in the winter period (December early
January) and the remaining 48% in the spring period (March -
May). Eighty-seven percent of the ewes in the subsample produced
lambs again during the study. Forty-five percent of the ewes
lambed within six to ten months of their previous lamb. Thirty-
two percent lambed twelve months after the initial study lamb.
Ten percent to as many as 23% lambed fourteen to sixteen months
post the first lamb, and one to a maximum of 15% (if all ewes in
the subsample, lambed again) lambed at least eighteen months after
their previous lamb. Percentages of ewes whose original lambs
were born in the fall, winter, and spring periods, that lambed
again within a twelve month period, were 71%, 68% and 83% by
Period, respectively (Table 2.7).

Table 2.7. Lambing intervals and number of lamb:. born during
each interval in the Timahdite area sample.

OF THE STUDY,. 6 8 10 12 14 16 TOTALS

FALL 84 14 PAIRS (23%) 0 ( 0%) 4 (7%) 0 ( 0%) 6 (10%) 2 ( 3%) 1 ( 2%) 13 (22%)
WINTER-84 16 PAIRS (27%) 1 ( 2%) 0 ( 0%) 6 ( 6%) 4 ( 7%) 3 ( 5%) 14 (23%)
SPRING-85 30 PAIRS (50%) 0 ( 0%) 12 (20%) 4 ( 7%) 9 (15%) 25 (42%)
TOTALS 60 PAIRS (100%) 1 ( 2%) 16 (27%) 10 (17%) 19 (32%) 5*( 8%) 1*( 2%) 52 (87%)
() Percent of the number of ewe-lamb pairs is shown in parentheses.
* The study ended prior to these lambing intervals.

The Timahdite producers reported that approximately 4% of
the breeding herd died annually, and that an annual lamb death
loss of approximately 9% could be expected. The lamb crop was
estimated to be 57% for the producers in the Timahdite sample.
Lambs are primarily sold between June and November. Older
lambs are sold first. Old, and a few young ewes, with or without
a lamb, are sold between August and October. Livestock will also
be sold throughout the year, as the producer's need for
additional income dictates. One producer felt that prices for
animals were directly related to available forage. Speculation
on Aid El Kbir is also a factor affecting the sale of lambs. One
producer saved most of his male lambs in order to sell them when
prices were high prior to Aid El Kbir. Another producer bought
spring lambs in May and sold them in August prior to the festival
(Table 2.8).

Table 2.8. Distribution of sales, slaughters, and deaths of
lambs and ewes in the Timahdite area sample. [Numbers of animals
are shown by data collection periods (28 day intervals). The
study began April 6, 1985 and ended February 11, 1986.]

(14) (121 (30) (5) 117) (13) (3) (60)
-D-IED --00-0-0-0-- -o o 3 o o o
FIRST SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DIED T T 7 T 0 0T
SECOND SOLD O0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
---- 5ED 0T~ -01 -o 0u =
THIRD SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
ABATTOIR 0 O 0 0 0 O 0 0
---- DIED- 0 "-tU- "- U- o U- 76 0
FOURTH SOLD 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 2
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T DIED0 0 U -"" 0 o
IrFTH SOLD 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
ABATTOIR .0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DIED 1 T0 0 0 5 -r0 0 U 0
SIXTH SOLD 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0D 0 0 0 0l T 0 o 0
SEVENTH SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SDIED TT-- 7 -T -- 3-0 -- r
EIGHTH SOLD 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 O 0
DIED T T 0r 0 T T 0 -
NINTH SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 O
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TDIED-- T- 1 1 U --r
TENTH SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ABATTOIR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
-- DIED- u- 0r- V5 -60 -T-- -u- "-r
ELEVENTH SOLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ABATTOIR 0 O U 0 0 0 0 0
(Maximum nuMbr of animaflsin th *ii*brplW pr;entfior iEch- c-t.ory
is shown in parenthesli.)

Health Care

One producer belonged to the local ANOC (National Sheep and
Goat Association) and received health care for his animals