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Timothy:- Miscellaneous

Introduction | Varieties | Soil Requirement | Seed Sowing 
Nutrient management | Water management | Weed management | Insect pests and Diseases management 
harvesting and post harvest management | Miscellaneous

Scheme for producing Green Fodder for 10 cows :-

  1. Green fodder required @ 35 kg/cattle/day. Total requirement for one year would be about 130 tonnes for 10 cattle.

  2. To produce the above tonnage, about 1.1. hectare irrigated land will be needed.

  3. Following fodder crop-rotations may be adopted in low and mid hill regions :

Rotation A (0.35 ha):
Napier-bajra hybrid+velvet bean/cowpea berseem+ Chinese sarson 
Rotation B(0.2 ha)
Maize+Soybean-maize+cowpea oats+ Chinese sarson 
Rotation C (0.2 ha)
Teosinte+velvet bean/cowpeaberseem+ oats Rotation D (0.35 ha) Setaria+velvet bean/cowpea-berseem/lucerene+Chinese sarson

The following chart shows the details of seeding time, availability of fodder, etc.

Silage making
Silage is the term used for the product formed when any green plant material is cut and stored where it can ferment in the absence of air. During this process of fermentation, the silage develops acids which act as preservatives for the nutrients of the forages.
Crops suitable for silage

There are as many kinds of silage as there are crops and crop mixtures. Common crops used for silage making are maize, sorghum, bajra mixture of grasses and legumes. When properly made, grass silage is not only palatable and highly nutritious but it has also an agreeable smell and high carotene (vitamin A precursor) content. The loss of nutrients is very much less than when the crops are cured as dry hay.

The principle in making silage is to keep the green fodder material tightly packed in impervious containers excluding air as much as possible. The crop should be harvested at the right stages of growth, viz, between the flowering and milk stage. The important conditions for getting quality silage are (i) storing the plant material at moisture content of 55 to 75% (ii) excluding air, and (iii) encouraging a rise of temperature from 30 to 38o C.

A farmer who has a herd of ten milch animals will require 120 to 130 qunitals of silage for feeding for a period of sixty days when green fodder will not be available. A silo pit of the dimension of 4.50x1.80 m. and 1.80 m depth with proper partitions will meet this demand. This site may be located at a place where the chances of seepage of water are negligible. The sides should be slopy. The floor and the sides should be covered with 6 inch layer of dry grass or any other suitable material. The silage material may be chaffed to the length of 2 to 2.5 cm.

Chart showing details of seeding and fodder availability

Crops Rotation & area Time of sowing Time of fodder availability Fodder reqd. (tonnes) Fodder available (tonnes) Surplus/ shortage (tonnes)
Berseem + Chinese sarson A(0.35 ha) Mid Sept. Dec.-May Dec. 10.85 11.50 +0.65
Oats+Chinese sarson B(0.2 ha) End Sept. Dec.-March Jan. 10.85 11.00 +0.15
Berseem+oats C(0.2 ha) End Sept. Dec.-May Feb. 9.80 6.00 -3.80
Berseem+Chinese D(0.35 ha) Mid Sept. Dec.-May March 10.85 13.50 +2.65
Maize+soybean B (0.2 ha) Early April June April 10.50 11.50 +1.00
        May 10.85 9.00 -1.85
        June 10.50 10.75 +0.25
Napier-bajra hybrid+velvet bean A (0.35 ha) End June June-Nov. July 10.85 12.00 +1.15
Teosinte+velvet bean C(0.2 ha) Early June Sept. Nov. August 10.85 15.50 +4.65
        Sept. 10.50 18.50 +8.00
Maize+cowpea B(0.2 ha) Early June September Oct. 10.85 11.50 +0.65
Setaria+velvet Bean/cowpea D(0.35 ha) May-June May-Dec. Nov. 10.50 7.25 -3.25
    Total     138.00  

Note : Surplus fodder in March-August and September should be conserved as silage or hay for feeding during deficit period.

S.No. Silage material Preservatives
1. Grasses alone 2.5-3.5 kg of molasses/q of silage material
2. Legumes and grasses 3.5 kg of molasses/q of silage material
3. Legumes alone 3.5-4.5 kg of molasses/q of silage material

In order to improve the quality of the silage when prepared from grasses alone, 0.02% urea may be mixed with the molasses which will be entirely free of risk due to ammonia toxicity to the animals. The material is to be packed pile with the inter-mixings of molasses and urea. The packing of the material is done manually or with a suitable machinery. The heap should be 60-90 cm high above ground level which may be covered with a layer of dry grass to a thickness of 8-10 cm and then with the earth layer of 30-60 cm thickness. The dome-shaped structure is then plastered as and when cracks appear. The silage becomes ready for feeding to the animals after a period of 6 to 8 weeks.

Characteristics of a good silage

The good silage has a clean odour without any objectionable after smell as well as pleasing taste, without any mould, sliminess or mushy rot. The body of the silage should be uniform in colour and moisture content. A dark brown or black colour indicates that the silage is useless and rotten. Green juicy silage is the most palatable and nutritious.

Package of Practice

Introduction | Varieties | Soil Requirement | Seed Sowing 
Nutrient management | Water management | Weed management | Insect pests and Diseases management 
harvesting and post harvest management | Miscellaneous
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Visitor No.: 08883208   Last Updated: 13 Jan 2016