Quality, productivity and profitability of diversified fodder-based cropping systems for year-round fodder production in Indo-gangetic plains of India
An experiment was conducted during two consecutive years of 2017-18 and 2018-19 at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal under randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of eight fodder-based cropping systems (CS) in Indo-gangetic plain region (IGP) ., sole napier bajra hybrid (CS ), sole guinea grass (CS ), napier bajra hybrid + cowpea ( )/ viz Kharif1 2 berseem ( ) (CS ), guinea grass + cowpea ( )/ oats ( ) (CS ), multicut sorghum-berseem ( ) Rabi Kharif Rabi Rabi 3 4 (CS ), cowpea-maize-oats (CS ), baby corn-cowpea-chinese cabbage ( ) (CS ), summer moong–multicut 5 6 7 Rabi sorghum–ryegrass ( ) (CS ). The results revealed that selection of the crops in different cropping systems Rabi 8 significantly influenced green fodder yield and fodder quality. Among various fodder base cropping systems, NBH + cowpea/ berseem system was recorded with significantly higher green fodder (177 t/ha/year) and dry fodder (31.5 t/ha/year) yields and also fodder quality attributes. The highest crude protein yield (40.7 q/ha/year) was also recorded in NBH + cowpea/ berseem intercropping system. In terms of economics, the highest gross and net returns were obtained from baby corn-cowpea-chinese cabbage (Rs 3.15 and 2.40lakh/ha/year, respectively), closely followed by NBH + cowpea/ berseem (Rs 2.74 and 2.15 lakh/ha/year, respectively). To ensure the year-round availability of quality fodder for dairy-based farmers, cultivation of the NBH + cowpea/ berseem cropping system proved to be a viable option.