Cultivation of Fodder Maize: Complete guide on Maize plant farming involves in seed treatment, planting, pest management, irrigation, harvesting and uses.
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. “Fodder” refers particularly to food given to the animals (including plants cut and carried to them), rather than that which they forage for themselves (see forage). It includes hay, straw, silage, compressed and pelleted feeds, oils and mixed rations, and sprouted grains and legumes. Most animal feed is from plants, but some manufacturers add ingredients to processed feeds that are of animal origin.
The worldwide animal feed industry produced 873 million tons of feed (compound feed equivalent) in 2011, fast approaching 1 billion tonnes according to the International Feed Industry Federation, with an annual growth rate of about 2%. The use of agricultural land to grow feed rather than human food can be controversial; some types of feed, such as corn (maize), can also serve as human food; those that cannot, such as grassland grass, may be grown on land that can be used for crops consumed by humans. Some agricultural by products fed to animals may be considered unsavory by human consumers.
Plough the field twice with an iron plough and three or four times with country plough.
2. APPLICATION OF FYM
Apply and spread FYM or compost at 25 t/ha on unploughed field along with 10 packets of Azospirillum (2000 g) and 10 packets of Phosphobacteria (2000g) inoculum or 20packets of Azophos (4000g)and incorporate the manure into the soil during ploughing.
3. FORMING RIDGES AND FURROWS
Form ridges and furrows using a ridger, 30 cm apart are form beds of size 10 m2 or 20 m2 depending on the availability of water and slope of the land.
4. APPLICATION OF FERTILIZERS
Apply NPK fertilizers as per soil test recommendation as for as possible. If soil testing is not done, follow blanket recommendation of 30 : 40 : 20 kg N, P2O5 and K2 O / ha. Apply 30 kg N/ha at 30 days after sowing as top dressing.
- Spacing : 30 x 15 cm, Seed rate : 40 kg/ha
- Treat the seeds with 3 packets (600 g) Azospirillum inoculant and 3 packets (600 g) of phosphobacteria or 6 packets of Azophos (1200g)before sowing
6. WATER MANAGEMENT
Irrigate immediately after sowing and give life irrigation on the third day and thereafter once in 10 days.
7. WEED MANAGEMENT
Hoeing and weeding are done as and when necessary.
Harvest the crop when the cob is in the milky stage.
* Fodder Maize can be intercropped with CO 5 or CO (FC) 8 Cowpea at 3:1 ratio and harvested together to provide nutritious fodder.
- At 5 t/ha + 75% recommended dose of fertilizer for intercropping of maize and cowpea produces green fodder yield of 105 t/ha/yr ( 3 crops/ year) which is sufficient to maintain 7 adults and 3 young cattles. The dung obtained from these animals can be used for on farm production of 19.4 tonnes of vermicompost per year.
Land should be free from volunteer plant. The previous crop should not be the same variety or other varieties of the same crop. It can be the same variety if it is certified as per the procedures of certification agency.
For certified / quality seed production leave a distance of 200 m all around the field from the same and other varieties of the crop.
- Adopt 60 x 20 cm
- Apply NPK @ 175 : 90 : 90 kg ha-1 + 25 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 as basal application
- Seeds attained physiological maturity on 40th day after anthesis.
- Seed yield : 2500 kg / ha
- Slurry treat the seeds with carbendazim @ 2g kg-1 of seed along with carbaryl @ 200 mg kg-1 of seed (or)
- Slurry treat the seeds with halogen mixture (CaOCl2 + CaCO3 + arappu leaf powder mixed in the ratio of 5:4:1) @ 3g kg-1 as eco – friendly treatment.
- Store the seeds in gunny or cloth bags for short term storage (8-9 months) with seed moisture content of 10-12%.
- Store the seeds in polylined gunny bag for medium term storage (12- 15 months) with seed moisture content of 8 – 10%.
- Store the seeds in 700 gauge polythene bag for long term storage (more than15 months) with seed moisture content of less than 8%.
OTHER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
- As in crop management technique
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