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Evaluation of Perennial Grass-legume Cropping Systems for Year-round Supply of Fodder for Dairy Farms

DOI: 10.18805/ajdfr.DR-1804    | Article Id: DR-1804 | Page : 162-167
Citation :- Evaluation of Perennial Grass-legume Cropping Systems for Year-round Supply of Fodder for Dairy Farms.Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research.2022.(41):162-167
Bellamkonda Murali, R. Susheela, M. Shanti, K. Shailaja, T. Shashikala muralibellamkonda1@gmail.com
Address : District Agricultural Advisory and Transfer of Technology Centers, Kamareddy-503 108, Telangana, India.
Submitted Date : 6-09-2021
Accepted Date : 26-10-2021

Abstract

Background: Long-term and stable livestock productivity could be possible only through a year-round supply of quality green fodder and it is essential for the sustainability of dairy farms. The year-round supply of quality green fodder is challenging to livestock farmers; however, it is possible by adopting perennial grass-legume intercropping systems. 
Methods: A field experiment with eight treatments consisting of two perennial grasses (Napier- bajra hybrid grass and guinea grass) alone or in combination with three fodder legumes (Lucerne, Hedge Lucerne and Sesbania) was conducted for 3 years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19) in a sandy loam soil at the Agricultural Research Institute, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad. The treatments were replicated thrice in a randomized block design. Perennial grasses were raised in paired row method (row to row 120cm and plant to plant 60 cm. The legume intercrops were grown with their respective spacing within 120 cm row. Sesbania inter crop was allowed to grow for 6 months and later trimmed to a height of 1 meter in the establishment year. Growth parameters were measured only for grasses at each harvesting and green fodder, dry matter and crude protein yields were recorded for both grasses and legumes at each cut and accumulated annually (total 6 cuts/year) for statistical analyses. 
Result: The results indicated that among the grasses, Napier-bajra hybrid recorded significantly higher green fodder, dry matter and crude protein yields; in case of leguminous inter crops, Sesbania recorded highest green fodder, dry matter and crude protein yields followed by Hedge Lucerne. About total productivity of the system, Napier-bajra hybrid + Sesbania (2:1) cropping system recorded highest green fodder, dry matter and crude protein yields. Highest net returns and B:C ratio was also noted with Napier bajra hybrid +Sesbania (2:1) cropping system and proved to be the best perennial fodder system for year-round supply fodder to the livestock.

Keywords

Crude protein Dry matter Economics Green fodder Livestock Perennial grasses Perennial legumes Year-round fodder

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