PRODUCTIVITY OF DIFFERENT FODDER CROPS SEQUENCES GROWN IN ASSOCIATION OF BER (ZIZYPHUS MAURITIANA LAMK.) PLANTATION UNDER AGRI-HORTICULTURE SYSTEM IN HOT ARID REGION OF WESTERN INDIA

K. C. SHARMA

Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute,

Arid Region Campus, Bikaner, Rajasthan 334 006 (India)

(Email: kc_64sharma@yahoo.com)

(Received: 6 March 2014; Accepted: 27 March 2014)

SUMMARY

The field experiment was conducted during 2008-11 to find out the most productive and remunerative fodder crops sequence in association of ber (Zizyphus mauritiana Lamk.) plantation in hot arid ecosystem of western India. Results indicated that among fodder cropping sequences, pearlmillet (Pennisetum glaucum) + clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) – lucerne (Medicago sativa) sequence recorded maximum values of green fodder (96.5 and 92.9 t/ha), dry matter (19.5 and 21.3 t/ha) and crude protein (2.87 and 3.05 t/ha) yields in both the years, and overall net returns of (Rs. 97.6 thousands/ha) and B:C ratio (2.43). These fodder yields were significantly higher over rest of the sequences in both the years except green fodder and dry matter yield of pearlmillet sole – lucerne in first year and dry matter yields alone of pearlmillet + clusterbean – oats (Avena sativa) in both the years. Growth data on ber plantation showed that none of the fodder cropping sequence had its significant effect on ber growth attributes viz., plant height, collar girth and canopy diameter except collar girth at 15 months stage, where differences in collar girth were significant and trees in the plots under pearlmillet + clusterbean – oats recoded maximum value of 21.7 cm, which was at par with pearlmillet + clusterbean – lucerne, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) + cowpea – oats, sorghum + cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) – lucerne, sorghum sole – oats, clusterbean sole – lucerne and ber sole, and significantly higher over rest of the sequences. Differences due to fodder cropping sequence in ber tree productivity viz., fruits, dry leaves fodder and dry wood yields were also non significant. Hence, it can be concluded that growing of pearlmillet + clusterbean – lucerne in association of ber plantation holds promise to provide higher and remunerative productivity in hot arid ecosystem of western India.

Key words : Agri-horticulture, ber, fodder crops sequences, fodder yield, economics.

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