Sustainable fodder production strategy through utilization of wastelands in hillswca2014-1163 Ram P. Yadav 1Jaideep K. Bisht 1,* 1Crop Production Division, Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (ICAR), Almora, India
The fodder cultivation and management in hills has been always neglected, though livestock rearing is an important occupation of farmers in the area. It is imperative to conserve and utilize wasteland resources most efficiently so as to meet the growing needs of food, fibre and fuel-wood for human and fodder for livestock consumption. Hybrid Napier was found to be the best on the sloping and degraded lands and under pine and deodar trees and produced 400- 800 q/ha. Grewia optiva, Morus alba, Robinia pseudoacacia and Quercus leucotrichophora can be grown through improved pits on degraded steep slopes (30-40% slope) and shallow lands. Erect growing grasses like Setaria kazungula, Setaria nandi, Panicum coloratum, and Pennisetum purpureum can be grown on the field terrace risers. Kudzu vine (Pureria thumbergiana), was found extremely suitable for protecting unstable, sensitive and highly degraded sites. In silvipastoral system Digetaria decumbense with Bauhinia purpurea, Quercus leucotrichophora, Grewia optiva and Cenchrus ciliaris with Celtis australis produced 1800 to 2450 g/m2/year green biomass. In silvi horti system green forage yield varied from 5.7 kg/tree by Quercus leucotrichophora to 7.7 kg/tree by Bauhinia vareigata. In case of grassland management two years of effective closure increase forage production up to four folds (38.3 q/ha vs. 9.7 q/ha) in control. In hills during winter months Lolium parene, Festuca arundinacea, and Grassland manawa gave encouraging yields ranging from 210 to 350 q/ha. Among legumes white and red clover were found promising. Dual purpose varieties of wheat (VL Gehun 829 and 616) are capable of providing substantial quantity of green forage (70-80q/ha). Thus, the production of fodder from the waste lands will be able to reduce the gap between demand and availability and well fed livestock will ensure higher productivity and income to hill farmers in addition to environmental security of the hills.