Inventory of forage grass species from southern Chhattisgarh, India: a case study
Keywords:Forage, Grass species, Palatability, Rainfall variability, Southern Chhattisgarh
Grasses not only constitute the staple food crops but are grown as fodder for livestock, grown in ornamental landscape, soil conservation and for bio-fuel feedstock. Grasslands of southern Chhattisgarh, India mostly described as AristidaDicanthium type in Kanker, Dichanthium-Anthraxon in Bastar and in extreme southern part Sukma represents Anthraxon-Aristida type on the basis of dominant vegetation of grass species. A total of 101 plant species belonging to 54 genera were studied during various survey trips in southern Chhattisgarh. Among 101 grasses, 31 were awned and 70 were awnless. Based on palatability, these species were classified into three categories viz., very good or excellent fodder (A), good fodder grass (B) and average quality (C), and included 22, 54 and 25 species, respectively. Among the prevailing habitats, density of grasses in the cultivated field grass (CF) constituted maximum (33 species) followed by density of grasses in the moist area (MA) (19 species). The awned grasses were palatable only either before maturity of awns or after they fall off. Awnless grasses were consumed at all stages by grazing animals.