Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Forage crops which are still popular among dairy farmers

Among the forage varieties /hybrids released by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore varieties like Cumbu Napier hybrid CO (CN) 4, Guinea grass CO (GG) 3, Multicut fodder sorghum CO (FS) 29 and Lucerne CO 1 are still popular among the farmers of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states.
These varieties have heralded a new era in fodder research and development at the National level. The varieties are a boon for dairy farmers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Cumbu napier hybrid
The stem of Cumbu Napier Hybrid grass CO (CN) 4 is ultra soft, less fibrous with sugary juice, making it more palatable. A white powdery coating on the stem is visible. The tillers are numerous and grow faster. It has large leaves, softer and less persistent hairs on leaf blades and sheaths and leaf edges are not very sharp.
The leaf-stem ratio is higher. As the palatability is very high, milch animals such as cattle, sheep and goats relish the fodder with least rejection. The variety registered a yield of 382 tonnes per hectare a year which is 32.9 per cent increased yield over the CO 3 variety. A total quantity of 1,07,03,873 stem cuttings has been distributed across India spreading over 15 states during 2008 to 2014.
Guinea grass CO (GG) 3

The Guinea grass CO (GG) 3 is a clonal selection from Mombasa. It has good seedling vigour with profuse tillering. It has large and long leaves with high leaf stem ratio. Sheep, goats and pigs relish the fodder without rejection. It had registered a yield of 320 tonnes per hectare which is 18.5 per cent increased green fodder yield over the CO 2 variety.
Sorghum, the foremost important forage crop in India followed by Berseem and Lucerne is cultivated mainly in western UP, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Delhi and fulfils over two-third of the fodder demand during Kharif season.
This variety, first of its kind in India, was released more than a decade back from the department of forage crops.
It was released during 1980 and yields 80-90 tonnes in a year from a hectare. A maximum of 12 harvests can be made annually at intervals of 30 days.
(For information contact the Professor and Head, Department of forage crops, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-641 003, Phone: 0422-6611228, email: forage@tnau.ac.in)

Source:The Hindu

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