Friday, December 21, 2012

Sirugamani Cow project plants CO-4 grass as fodder to increase milk yield

Hugues introduces Co4

“SEVAI-OFI Sirugamani Cow project plants CO-4 grass as fodder to increase milk yield” said K.Devendran of SEVAI and Hugues, a French volunteer introduced CO4 grass for farmers for cultivation for feeding animals in SEVAI-OFI Cow farm at Sirugamani. Cow rearing is profitable if high cost of production is reduced, labour excess and availability of land.  “Dry straw (hay) used to feed cattle has become scarce due to decline in area under rice cultivation. It becomes a dire necessity for dairy farmers to start growing green fodder (grass) if they desire to run their unit profitably,” says K.Devendran, the farming coordinator of SEVAI, a Trichy based NGO. And he adds that the distribution of milch animals by the Government is of use to farmers but along with the animals cow farmers must be also made aware of the importance of growing their own fodder for the animals. Buying several commercial feeds available in the markets today is not profitable for a small farmer and is sure to burn a hole in their pocket, according to him. SEVAI encourages fodder production for its Self Help Group members and introduced different fodder grasses like CO3 and CO4. “We plant cuttings of CO4 grass from KVK farm and plant them in Marutham farming so that the cow farm in Sirugamani will get nutritious feed. This grass is nutritious and relished by cattle and has enhanced milk yield from 1 to 2 litres per day. The waste biomass and leaves can be used to generate methane gas, similar to gobargas. It is proposed to impart training to Dairy farmers of SHGs of SEVAI on scientific fodder management practices as an integral part of Cow project of SEVAI-OFI. This grass can be grown in most soil types, except in heavy clay, highly alkaline and water logged areas. K.Devendran is confident that CO-4 grass used as fodder increases milk yield considerably and said, “ SEVAI plans to offer co4 grass seed strips to SHG Cow farmers that co4 is a perennial grass which can be retained on field for 2-3 years. It has larger leaves, softer and less persistent hairs of leaf blades and sheaths and less sharp leaf edges”.-Govin

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