Growing green fodder

Green fodder is the primary source of nutrients to the cattle & so it is very important to ensure its availability round the year. Depending on the season, multi-cut variety of maize, barley, sorghum are cultivated in summer & rainy seasons, whereas berseem, oats, mustard are grown during winter & spring seasons.

First we need to plough the field to loosen the soil so that any unwanted stones or weeds can be removed. It is important to remove these weeds otherwise they’ll eat up the nutrients in the soil & would hinder the full growth of fodder plants.

We then add cow manure to the field to provide the nutrients required for the optimum growth of the fodder plants.

Next step is to add seeds in the soil; after consultation with the local KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) scientist, best quality seeds in right quantity & combination are then sown together.

After adding the seeds, the field is ploughed again to mix the seeds thoroughly with the upper layer of the soil.

As a last step in the sowing process, the surface is then flattened to cover the seeds with soil.

Depending on the weather, we then need to irrigate the field every 10 – 15 days to provide water to the plants which is again essential for their optimum growth.

It would take 25 – 40 days for the fodder to grow to a size where it is optimum for cutting.

The cut grass is then either fed to the cows as is; or chopped into very fine pieces in a chaff cutter to be mixed with the dry fodder; this mixture is then fed to the cows.

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