Dairy Farmers must cultivate Napier grass for more income, know how it will be beneficial?
Napier grass has all the qualities of 'mango's mangoes, price of kernels'.
Napier Grass Farming | Farmers have always had a close relationship with their cattle. If there is proper provision of green fodder for the cattle, then their health and productivity go up. For dairy farmers, the importance of continuous availability of green fodder is as much as that of their advanced livestock, because only in the healthy nutrition of milch animals, there is a recipe for better income for the farmers.
Keeping these facts in mind, Kisan of India will tell you about the advanced cultivation of such green fodder which has the unique potential to make dairy farmers happy at a low cost.
Although farmers grow many grasses like Napier, Berseem, Jirka, Guinea, and Para for green fodder. Napier Grass ranks top among nutrient-rich animal feeds. It grows very fast and soon becomes taller than humans, hence it is also called ‘elephant grass’. It has the qualities of ‘mangoes of mangoes, price of kernels’. Napier hybrid grass was first developed in Africa. Napier hybrid grass was grown in India in 1912 in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Then in 1962, Delhi’s Pusa Agricultural Institute prepared its hybrid and named it Pusa Giant.
Get green fodder from one sowing for five years
Napier grass farming can be done on all types of soil. It does not require much irrigation, so the cost of green fodder is also less. After applying it once, the cattle rearers get green fodder continuously for four-five years. While the first cutting of Napier grass is done in 60-65 days, after that it can be cut every 30-35 days i.e. 6 to 8 times a year. The Napier land, requiring less water and less nutrients from the soil, is suitable for conservation.
This perennial fodder can be easily grown in fallow land and mono-crop fields also. It can also be planted on a part of the fields or on the ridge and contains protein 8-10%, fiber 30%, and calcium 0.5%. It should be mixed with pulse fodder and fed to animals.
Half bigha field for 4-5 animals
Such milk producers must cultivate Napier grass, have less land for cultivation, and buy most of their household items from the market. Due to less land, their needs for food grains and fruits and vegetables are not fulfilled, but enough green fodder can be produced for their cattle. Because by cultivating Napier grass in about half a bigha field, green fodder can be provided to 4-5 animals throughout the year.
If the farmer cultivates Napier grass in more area than his requirement, then it can also earn cash crops. Landless dairy farmers can also grow Napier grass by renting less fertile land. This will prove to be very helpful in increasing their income.
How to cultivate Napier grass?
Summer sunshine and light rain have been the perfect combination for Napier’s rapid growth. Its growth is somewhat slow in winter. Napier is mostly sown in June-July. If there is a facility for irrigation, planting of rooted cuttings can also be done between February and July. There is no need for irrigation if sowing is done during the rainy season. In other seasons, light irrigation should be given for 20-25 days after sowing. Waterlogged fields are not suitable for Napier. For the cultivation of Napier grass, deep plowing should be done to eliminate the weeds in the field. It is sown by cutting the stem because it does not produce seeds.
Napier’s Commercial Farming
If Napier grass is to be cultivated at a commercial level, then 20,000 seeds will be needed per hectare. There should be a distance of about 50 cm between its two plants. But if it is to be planted with other crops, then it should be increased slightly. For higher production of Napier, 125-150 quintal per hectare manure should be added at the time of last plowing, besides 40 kg Nitrogen and 60 kg Phosphorus per hectare, and 30 kg per hectare nitrogen should also be added after each harvesting. Needed
At the time of harvesting Napier grass, about 6 inches of the tree should be left buried in the ground. Irrigation is necessary after each harvest. Weeding and weeding after sowing and harvesting helps in the growth of the crop. Napier grass should be cut when it is one and a half meters high because the stems of larger plants have become tougher and more fibrous and are less liked by animals.
Varieties of Napier grass
Pusa Giant, NB-21, CO-1, CO-3, IGFRI-3, IGFRI-6, IGFRI-7, IGFRI-10, Yashwant, Swatika, Gajraj, Sankar-1, Sankar-2 and Shakti etc. Their annual yield can range from 90 to 300 tonnes per hectare. The amount of production will depend most on how commercially Napier grass farming is done. NB-21 is said to be very fast growing and Swastika is said to be frost resistant.
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