Adequacy of Green Fodder in Commercial Dairy Farms of Punjab
Ranjodh Singh and Poonam Kataria
The present study was conducted to examine the season wise adequacy status of green fodder in the ration of dairy animals and its underlying effect on milk productivity in the Punjab state. The data, pertaining to the crop year 2014-15 related to fodder and feed management practices from 30 commercial dairy farms formed the basis of the study. The empirical evidence from commercial dairy farms of Punjab, with an average herd size of 83.5 ACUs, brought forth the pronounced use of maize and berseem as green fodder. The study brought forth that 60 per cent of the sampled dairy farms had adequate total dry matter intake in all three seasons, 16.6 per cent in two out of the three seasons, while 23.3 per cent were having nutritionally inadequate dry matter intake. As regards the sufficiency status of green fodder, 60 per cent sampled dairy farms were having nutritionally inadequate dry matter intake from green fodder, while 13.3 per cent attained adequacy in this respect in all the three seasons, 16.6 per cent in two seasons and 10 per cent in only one season. This inadequacy, in terms of green fodder norms for high yielders, has not significantly affected the productivity of dairy animals of different breeds in the sampled dairy farms, the plausible reason could be the adequacy in terms of total dry matter intake. The analysis calls for the sensitization of dairy farmers on the use of nutritionally adequate quantity of green fodder for enhancing the milk productivity, which would translate into higher income, a step towards the realization of goal of doubling the farm income by 2022.