With scarcity of water, specially during drought hit season, its a challenging task for thousands of farmers indulged in dairy farming to grow fodder and feed their livestock. Thus, Mysore Milk Union Limited is on its new venture to motivate farmers to grow drought resistance crop that is 'Pasture Grasses'.
About 15 villages are selected under the project which include drought hit villages too. Forage demonstrate in 75 acres of land at Mysore and Chamarajanagar is under progress. Central Fodder Seed Production Farm, Hesserghatta, Bangalore has distributed seeds for 150 farmers at free of cost and farmers will be demonstrating forage in 20 guntas of land under this pilot project.
MS Lakshmi Prasad Yadav of Mymul Seeds and Fodder Unit said at present, farmers in the region are practicing cultivation of fooder grass in a scientific way, called as Hybrid Napier. This grass can be grown by farmers only those have irrigation facility, and requires good quantity of water. Whereas its not same with the pasture grass. The advantage of the forage is it can be grown even in waste land, requires less water consumption and primarily its a drought resistance crop.
"Pasture grass are high quality fodder and comprise high dry matter. Hybrid Napier has 90 per cent moisture and 10 per cent dry matter, whereas pasture grasses contain 75 per cent moisture and 25 per cent dry matter. As the grass are rich in protein, mineral, vitamins content, it can be exclusively used to feed livestock. By feeding pasture grass for milking cows, buffaloes the yield of milk production and fat contents in the milk increases. More over, farmers can obtain good profit with less expenditure,” he added.
One kg of pasture seed costs about Rs 400 and 25 per cent subsidy (Rs 100) is given for farmers, who take up pasture grass cultivation. The seeds are available at Mymul Training Center situated in Alanahalli. Training are given to farmers to grow pasture grass of three varieties such as Rhodes, Guinea and panic grasses.
Mymul MD Dr Suresh Babu said plans have been made to encourage farmers in large number to switch over for cultivating pasture grass in the region.