Green fodder production is the most challenging activity in a dairy enterprise.
Acute fodder scarcity is faced in our country in general and in Andhra Pradesh state
in particular. It is due to the fact that only 3.5% of total cultivated land is
under fodder crops as against the requirement of 8% because of fragmented land holding
and priority attached to food and cash crops by farmers. Hence every farmer is advised
to earmark a portion of land for fodder crops. Further, growing fodder trees like
Subabul, Glyrecidia around residence, animal sheds and on boundaries of his farm
land will help to ease the situation to a greater extent.
Green fodder production in fact not only reduce the feeding cost but also keeps
the animals healthy, reduce deficiencies and increase milk production. There are
many legume and non-legume fodder varieties available for cultivation. Ideal characteristics
of good fodder varieties are
It should be short duration variety
It should have good yield potential
Nutritious and tasty
Suitable for preservation
It should not have any anti- nutritional factors
Green Fodders are three types:
Cereal fodders ( Non legume fodders): Again they are two types
Annual fodders: One or few cuttings may be taken after sowing. They can not be retained
for more than one year. eg: Single cut varieties: Maize, Sorghum, Bajra etc. Mutli
cut varieties: Maize, Sorghum, Bajra etc.
Perrenial fodders:All bajra – napeir varieties fall in this category.
Legume fodders: All legume varieties are annual type suitable for
single cut or mutli cut Lucern, Burseam , Cow pea etc,.
Fodder trees: like Subabul, Glyrecidia can also be extensively
grown around farmers’ house, animal sheds, un-cultivable areas like piece
of land with boulders, farm bunds and farm boundaries.
Fodder production options:
We have fodder verities suitable for irrigated areas, rain fed areas and fodder
trees. Small and marginal formers should ear mark certain piece of land for perennial
fodders. They should also concentrate on growing fodder trees around their house,
animal shed and on boundaries and internal bunds.
Small, medium and large size dairy farmers should have a special focus on fodder
production. They should grow annual, perennial fodders and fodder trees of legume
and non-legume varieties. A year long fodder production plan has to be drawn.
Allocate irrigated land for production of perennial fodder crops and rain fed land
for annual fodder crops. Here also, allocate land for non-legume and legume crops
Plan for a staggered sowing and harvest such that constant quantity of green fodder
is produced round the year.
Grow fodder trees like subabul and glyrecedia in uncultivable waste land like rocky
areas, around animal houses, bunds and boundaries.
It is very important to train the trees. They should be cut at six feet hight and
lopping of branches should be done before pod formation to avoid auto seeding.
If more rain fed area is available, grow fodder crops suitable for hay making and
preserve for off-season usage.
Every day required quantity of non-legume, legume fodder and tree fodder should
Non-legume fodder varieties: Annual type:
Single cut : Maize – African tall, APFM-8
Multi cut – MP chair, SSG-3,SSG-53,HC-17,PC-23 etc.
Perennial : Napier varieties - APBN -1, Co-1, Co-2, Co-3, NB-21,
BH-18, Guinea gross, Para grass etc.
SUITABLE FORAGE CROPS ROTATIONS FOR CENTRAL DECCAN REGION Click Here
3. Fodder Preservation Techniques
Fodder Preservation Techniques
Fodder production is a seasonal activity and face with twin problems of surplus
during production season and scarcity during lean season. To avoid this problem
we have certain fodder preservation techniques like hay making and silage making.
Preparation of Hay:
Fodder verities which have luxurious growth, plenty of foliage and thin stems are
suitable for hay making. They include cereal varieties like Sorghum, Bajra, Maize
and legume varieties like cow pea, chicken pea, horse gram, jute, lucern, stylohamata
Hay making should be taken up during sunny days only.
Cut the crop when it is in flowering stage.
Sundry the cut crop by keeping them upside down.
Turn the fodder frequently for even drying and to avoid mold formation on lower
Take care that not much leaf portion is fallen which is nutritious.
When moisture is reduced to 15%, properly stake it in such a way that rain water
will not seep inside and spoil the entire hay.
Cut into pieces in chaff cutter and feed to animals to avoid wastage and proper
utilization of hard portion also.
While feeding, balance legume and non-legume hays.
Preservation of cereal green fodder in silos or bin or trenches under anaerobic
condition is called silage. In this process, under anaerobic condition, the starch
present in chapped fodder is used for bacterial fermentation and release lactic
and acetic acid. Such fermented fodder will have alcoholic smell, sweet taste and
retain all nutrients.
Process of silage making:
Use only cereal fodders. Don’t use protein rich legume fodders.
Though silage can be prepared in trenches, bins and pits (silos), keeping in view
the scale of operation, pit type is advocated in our country for small and marginal
formers with few milch animals.
A pit admeasuring 25 feet (length) x 8 feet (width) x 5 feet (depth) is sufficient
for five animals to feed for 3 months.
The pits should be in an elevated area where ground water seepage is not there.
Construct only side walls with cement and brick / cut stone. Lining should not be
done in bottom to facilitate excess water released in the process of silage to percolate.
Fill the silage pits with chaffed fodder layer by layer.
After filling every layer with a thickness of one feet, add 2-3 kg joggery water/
molasses and 2 kg salt.
Trample properly with legs or rolling heavy stone to remove trapped air between
Once the pit is filled one feet above ground level, gradually reduce the length
and width of layers so that a hump of 4-5 feet above ground level is farmed.
Now cover the fodder hump with dry grass or neam leaves or polythene sheet. Then
seal the pit with mud and dung for air tight packing.
The process of fermentation completes in about three months and will be ready for
Once the silage pit is open, use it within a month or two. Other wise molds may
Cover the pit with tarpaulin or plastic sheet every day after taking out required
quantity of silage. Protect it from rain.
4. Silage Making Video Presentation
Silage Making Video Presentation Telugu ( Source:KEMIN)