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Introduction of Mottgrass Fodder




  • Mottgrass_Fodder

    Elephantgrass (Pennisetum  purpureum Schum) cv. Mott is a perennial high yielding, nutritious and palatable bunch grass of tropics and subtropics. It has high leaf: stemratio and digestibility (70-75%) compared to other summer forage crops such as maize (62%), sorghum (64.32%) and sudan-grass (59%). Also Mott-fodder is remains available during the months of May-June and October-November, which are forage scarcity periods in the country.  Being perennial in nature it can also save a lot of money, now being spent on cultivation of annual fodder crops.

    Introduction 

    Mottgrass_FodderElephantgrass (Pennisetum  purpureum Schum) cv. Mott is a perennial high yielding, nutritious and palatable bunch grass of tropics and subtropics. It has high leaf: stemratio and digestibility (70-75%) compared to other summer forage crops such as maize (62%), sorghum (64.32%) and sudan-grass (59%). Also Mott-fodder is remains available during the months of May-June and October-November, which are forage scarcity periods in the country.  Being perennial in nature it can also save a lot of money, now being spent on cultivation of annual fodder crops.

    Technology Development, Demonstration and Recommendation

    Mottgrass was introduced from USA and research work was conducted at Fodder Research Program NARC on different agronomic aspects such as optimization of N and P fertilizer dosage in relation to yield and quality, economics of fertilizer use, planting geometry, cutting schedule and combination of Mottgrass in relation to other existing fodder crops for round the year nutritious green fodder supply to the livestock. After standardizing the production technology, demonstration trails were conducted at farmers’ fields. So far, it has got introduced to thousands of farmers in Punjab, NWFP and AJK. Every year cuttings/root stocks of Mottgrass are supplied from NARC to many farmers in the country.

    The Technology

    Mottgrass is highly responsive to fertilizer; in general, application of 120 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg P2O5 ha-1 produce the highest green fodder (i.e., 175 tonnes ha-1 yr-1), and dry matter (47.2 tonnes ha-1 yr-1) and highest crude protein content 9.40 %. The recommended row to row and plant to plant spacings are 50 cm Root-slips are more successful than stem cuttings for its propogation. Cutting intervals of 10-weeks or when plant height reaches 4 to 5 feet is advisable to get optimum fodder yield and quality. Mottgrass remains dormant from December to March; therefore, intercropping of berseem, Brassica or winter cereals in Mottgrass highly beneficial during the lean period of December-January.  

     

    Key References

    Zahid, M.S., M. U. Mufti, M. B. Bhatti and A. Ghafoor. (1999). Nitrogen fertilizer requirement of elephantgrass cv. Mott grown in Pothwar area. Journal of Science, Technology and Development, 18:25-30.

    Zahid, M. S., A. M. Haqqani, M. U. Mufti and S. Shafeeq. (2002). Optimisation of N and P Fertilizer for Higher Fodder Yield and Quality in mottgrass under irrigation-cum rainfed conditions of Pakistan. Asian Journal of Plant Science, 1: 690-693. 

    Reference : parc.gov.pk

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