Importance of Fodder for Successful Dairy Farming

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Dairy farmers spend most of their money on feeding their animals for growth. Approximately 60% of all expenses on dairy farming are spent on the provision of appropriate feed accord- ing to the requirements of animals.

God Almighty has blessed dairy farmers with different kinds of fodder for the health of his animals and to make his business profitable. He can provide the best quality of feed to his animals with comparatively less expense.

 

Fodder for Animals:

  1. The cheapest source of
  2. Fodder provides a variety of  important
  3. Fodderprovides animals their favourite feed, throughout the 
  4. Excessive fodder can be easily stored for seasons when there is a shortage of

 

Types of Fodder:

God Almighty has blessed man with various kinds of fodders according to the needs of the animals in different seasons. For instance, wintertime fodders have a higher protein con- tent to help tolerate a cold climate; in the summertime fodders contain less protein to counter the ill effects of  high temperatures. These fodders can be divided according to   the productive age of the fodders and different seasons, as listed  below:

 

  1. Multicut/ evergreen fodders
  2. WinterFodders
  3. SummerFodders

 

Evergreen  Fodders (Perennial):

This is the fodder which is planted once only and may be utilized all year long or even for many years. These fodders are lucern, mott grass, sudan grass, etc.

 Fodders of the Winter Seasons:

These fodders are grown at the beginning of winter. They ensure provision of fodder in the cold season and reaches maturity in summer. These fodders are barseem, oats, rye grass etc.

Fodders of the Summer Seasons:

These fodders are grown at the beginning of summer. They ensures provision of fodder till the beginning of the winter season. These fodders are maize, sorghum, millet  etc.

 

Nutritional Value of Different Fodders

Fodder Name

Proteins (percent)

Berseem

 

Lucern

 

Oats

 

Maize

 

Sorghum

 

Millet

 

Perennials

 

Sudan grass

 

Junter

 

Mustard

 

Mott grass

 

 

The Schedule of Permanent Provision of Fodders to the Cattle:

 

 

Fodder Name

Time of Cultivation

Harvesting Time

Berseem

25 September to October

November to May

Lucern

15 September to October

Permanent yield from December for 3 years, after every 45 days

Oats

October to December

January to May

Rye grass

October to December

December to April

Maize

February to September

May to December

Sorghum

March to May

June to November

Perennials

March to May

May to October

Millet

April to September

June to November

Gwar

April to July

June to November

Mott grass

February to March, July to August

May to November

Modern Trends in the Production of Fodder:

 

  1. Selectionof fodder with higher nutritional value
  2. Preferencefor fodder with a higher per acre production
  3. Preference for (multicut)fodder
  4. Preference for fodder which can be easilypreserved/stored

 

Important Factors that Increase per Acre Production of Fodder:

 

 

  1. Seeds which produce highyield
  2. Timelycultivation according to schedule
  3. Timely use of balanced fertilizers andwater
  4. Timely use ofinsecticides
  5. Timelyharvesting

    Use of crop residues and bye-products:

     

    It is important to reduce expenses on the farm to a suitable level to make the dairy busi- ness a successful industrial unit. This aim can be achieved by using the inexpensive resi- dues of crops in a better way, because they constitute  2/3 the amount of total production  of grains. These residues include wheat chaff, maize stems and cobs etc. It can be pur- chased at a low price at the time of their harvesting. Its nutritional value can be easily increased by mixing it with urea, molasses and mineral mixture.

    According to NARC, the nutritional value of wheat straw for animal feed can be increased according to the following formula:

     

     

    Wheat straw

    100 kg

    Urea

    4 kg

    Water

    50 litres

    Molasses

    15 litres

    Mineral mixture

    2 kg

     

    According to the UAF, the nutritional value of maize cobs can be increased consider- ably according to this formula:

    Maize cobs

    100 kg

    Urea

    4 kg

    Water

    50 litres

    Molasses

    15 kg

    Mineral mixture

    2 kg

    Hurdles in Continous Provision of Fodder and How to over- come them:

     

    Sowing and harvesting fodder depends on weather suitable for growth of each required fodder. The farmer divides fodder into groups of winter, summer and perennials accord- ing to the appropriateness of sowing and harvesting. He has to grow the required fodder according to the weather conditions to get a better yield. Due to this seasonal schedule   of sowing and harvesting of fodder, he has to face its shortage three times in a year. The following table describes this  shortage:

     

     

    Production of Fodder in Punjab with Traditional Methods:

    A farmer has the following options during this fodder shortage:

     


    1. Purchasing expensive fodder to feed animals thus wasting all his possiblesavings
    2. Keeping his animals hungry or under-fed and as a result adversely affect theirproduction
    3. Buyingcheap fodder of low quality and then bear losses of health and production of his animals

     

     

     

    Traditionally, the farmer bears the negative effects on the health and production of  his animals, but it is not difficult for a successful dairy farmers to find a solution to these problems. The secret of his success is in providing cheap but quality fodder to his animals all the year round, without  hindrance.

    If the dairy farmer takes note of these points and acts upon this procedure, he will always benefit from his dairy farming. There would be no negative effects on health and produc- tion of the animals.

     

    1. The farmer must know how much fodder is required for all of his animals for the whole year and he must meet his
    2. He must choose those fodders whose per acre production is double that of tradi tional He can thus double its production and feed more animals from the samepiece of land. The per acre production of traditional sorghum is 300 maunds (12000 kgs) whereas the per acre production of hybrid sorghum is 700 maunds (28000 kgs). Just by changing the variety of the crops he gets double the production of fodder and reduces the price of per maund fodder.
    3. He can get the whole production in one go, unlike growing traditional fodder in     which he has to go through the process of growing the fodder and preparing the land again for planting; whereas due to the use of scientific methods in agriculture he can get fodder seeds which yield many times more production. He can get many cuts and more fodder by using these
    4. If he grows seasonal fodder on one piece of land and perennial fodder on the remaining land, he can manage the problem of fodder shortage which he encounters thrice a
    1. The latest blessing in these contemporary times for the farmer is the technology of preserving He can preserve, in the form of hay and silage, the fodder that  he gets when the production is in plenty. This preserved fodder can be easily used at the time of scarcity of fodder. Thus he can maintain the health and production of hisanimals, and he would be known all around as a successful farmer.
    2. Better use of the residues of

     

    What is Good Fodder?

     

    Dairy farmers should choose the best type of fodder for better growth of their animals. The growth and production of animals depends on the fodder they eat. Only the best fodder can guarantee their growth and maximum production. So fodders which fulfill the following criteria should be given to the animals for profitable dairy farming.

     

    1. Fodder according to  the animal’s liking, that it consumes
    2. There should be a reasonable amount of dry matter in the
    3. There must be an appropriate amount of raw proteins to meet the requirements of the
    4. There should be enough digestible raw proteins in the fodder so that the animals’ digestive system remains
    5. Thefodder should be completely 
    6. It must have the quality to be preserved so that the farmer knows how much of the nutritional requirements of his animals are being

      Given below is the importance of the fodder according to its nutritional value:

       

       

      Name of Fodder

      Percentage of CP

      Lucern

       

      Berseem

       

      Maize

       

      Sorghum

       

      Millet

       

       

      Keeping in mind this table, the dairy farmer can arrange his own schedule of growing fodder. From the chosen fodder the farmer himself would know what quality of fodder he is feeding to his animals and what nutritional ingredients are required to make a balanced diet for them.