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CENTRE FOR PLANT BREEDING AND GENETICS

 
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DEPARTMENT OF FORAGE CROPS

ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

            Research on forage crops was initiated in the Botany section at the Agricultural College and Research Institute, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu as far back as 1959.  It was identified as one of the Co-ordinating Centres of the All India Co-ordinated Project for Research on Forage Crops by the ICAR in 1971.  A full-fledged Department, the first of its kind in India, dealing with breeding, agronomy and nutrition of fodder crops came into existence in the year 1976, at TNAU, Coimbatore.

OBJECTIVES

  • Collection, evaluation and maintenance of genetic resources

  • To evolve superior varieties of forage crops with high yield and quality

  • To enhance the green and dry fodder production potential of important forage crops

  • To identify suitable package of practices for the improved varieties  so as to maximize  productivity with minimum inputs

  • To reduce the anti-nutritional principles like Oxalates, HCN, Nitrate, Nitrite and Mimosine etc in forages through breeding efforts.

  • To evolve suitable methods to improve the nutritive status of low grade dry fodder like paddy/sorghum straw etc.

  • To evolve suitable methods of preservation of green fodder for use in lean seasons

  • To enhance the seed productivity of important fodder crops

  • Collaborative research with other Institutions

EDUCATION          

RESEARCH

List of Research Projects: (19)

Breeding                          : 5

Agronomy                       : 6

Soil Science                     : 4

Seed Technology            : 4

ACHIEVEMENTS

            So far 16 different improved varieties of various forage crops have been released by the Department of Forage Crops.  The varietal details are furnished below.

Crop/Variety

Year of release

Green fodder yield (t/ha)

Special features

CEREAL FORAGES

Sorghum CO-27

(60-65 days)

 

1986

 

40

 

Thin stem, ratoonability, drought tolerant

Sorghum COFS 29

(Multi cut)

2001

170

(in 5 cuts)

More tillers

 Ratoonable

(4 times)

Bajra CO-8

(50-55 days)

1992

30

Soft stem, high leaf stem ratio, highly palatable

GRASSES

Bajra -Napier Hybrid (P) CO-1

1982

300

Drought tolerant, high yield

CO-2

1991

350

High yield

CO-3

1996

350-400

High yield, high leaf stem ratio, highly palatable

Guinea grass (P)

CO-1

1993

200

Shade tolerant, thin stem

CO-2

2000

270

Shade tolerant, thin stem

Kolukkattai grass (P)

(Blue Anjan) CO-1

(Cenchrus glaucus)

1989

40-45

Highly suitable for rainfed

Deenanath grass CO-1

(60-65 days)

1995

40-45

High tillering, thin stem, highly palatable

LEGUMES

Lucerne CO-1 (P)

 

1984

 

80-90

 

High yield, cuscuta free

Cowpea CO-5

(60-65 days)

1986

25-30

Early maturity, high yield

TREE FODDER

Subabul CO-1 (P)

 

1984

 

80-85

 

High yield, high protein, drought tolerant

INTRODUCTIONS

Desmanthus virgatus (Velimasal) (P)

1983

80-85

High yield, drought tolerant, pasture legume

Stylosanthes scabra

(Muyal masal) (P)

1991

30-35

Rainfed pasture legume

Pudia Soundal (P)

(Leucaena diversifolia)

1999

40-45

Highly suitable for rainfed conditions.  Psyllid tolerant, high yield

(P) - Perennial

Germplasm maintenance

CROP

Number

Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)

54

Guinea grass (Panicum maximum)

114

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata)

58

Bajra (Pennisetum glaucum)

102

Minor Forage crops*

150

* Subabul, Chloris, Pennisetum spp, Desmanthus spp. etc.

SEMINORS /WORKSHOPS/TRAININGS ORGANIZED : -

STAFF PATTERN

Sl.

No

Name and Designation

From

To

 

Forage Main

 

 

 

1

Dr.A. Gopalan

Professor and Head

5.5.2000

Till date

 

2.

Dr.V. Manonmani

Assistant Professor (SS&T)

3.5.2000

Till date

 

3.

Dr.M.R. Backiyavathy

Assistant Professor (SS& AC)

1.4.2002

Till date

 

 

AICORF

 

 

 

1.

Dr.G. Vijayakumar, Professor (Breeding)

3.5.2000

Till date

 

2.

Dr. N. Maragatham, Associate Professor ( Agronomy)

4.4.2003

Till date

 

INFRAFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES

Percolation Pond : Constructed in New Area at the cost of 1.30 lakh rupees for rain water harvesting.

SCHEMES IN OPEARTION

 ICAR scheme on "All India Coordinated Research Project on Forage Crops"

FUTURE THRUST

  • Evolving high yielding, high tillering,  Trichomes free varieties in Bajra Napier Hybrids and guinea grass with good fodder quality and good regeneration capacity

  • Evolving promising dual purpose Sorghum and  Bajra varieties with higher green fodder yield.

  • Development of high yielding genotypes in Desmanthes through Mutation Breeding

  • Production of sufficient quantity of nucleus, breeder and TFL seeds of released forage crops.

  • Developing high yielding, highly palatable, perennial Cenchrus grass for rainfed situation.

  • Development of high yielding Lucerne variety through polycross technique.

  • Identifying remunerative forage based cropping systems for sustained productivity under irrigated condition.

  • Enhancing the production potential of forage crops by exploiting inter cultivable areas under shaded condition

  • Improving the quality of leguminous forage crops by augmenting the  fertility levels under irrigated condition

  • Wastewater/sewage water recycling : Inclusion of animal component to establish the carryover of heavy metals into milk or other animal products

  • Soil fertility management by exploiting the atmospheric nitrogen fixation in legume forage crops

  • Assessing optimum time of maturity in fodder sorghum COFS 29 to avoid seed shattering loss.

  • Improving germination potential of  fodder sorghum COFS 29 by giving different dormancy breaking treatments.

  • Evolving suitable methods to maximize the germination potential of different grass seeds.

  • Improving seed yield and quality of Lucerne seeds.

EXTENSION

Technologies for adoption

  • Under irrigated conditions, Bajra-Napier grass CO-3 + Desmanthus at 3:1 ratio is the best for high yield and protein rich fodder

  • Under rainfed conditions, Cenchrus + Desmanthes or Stylo at 3:1 ratio is the best

  • Cereal fodders + Cowpea CO-5 of 1:1 ratio gives high yield and nutritious fodder

  • Planting 3-4 feet long Bajra-napier stem cuttings horizontally is more economical and high yielding

  • Application of vermicompost 10 t/ha along with 75 per cent recommended NPK for all fodder crops is cost effective

  • Sewage water and cattle shed wash water can be better utilized for Bajra-Napier, Guinea grass and cereal fodders.

  • Excess nitrogenous fertilizers to forage crops should be avoided to minimise Nitrate toxicity

  • Soundal and Velimasal seeds should be soaked in hot water at 800C for 4-5 minutes for better germination

  • Spraying Borax + ZnSO4 at 0.1 per cent each at first flowering and 10 days later improves seed set in Lucerne by 50 percent.

♣ Trainings Organized

Sl.

No.

Title of the Training

To whom given

Total No. of participants

Period

1.

Fodder Production Technology

NDDB Staff

15

December

 9-14, 1996

2.

Fodder Development and Forage Seed Production

Animal Husbandry Department Staff

17

June 16-20, 1997

3.

Fodder Development and Forage Seed Production

Animal Husbandry Department Staff

17

July 7-11, 1997

4.

Fodder Development and Forage Seed Production

Animal Husbandry Department Staff

16

July 28 to  August1, 1997

5.

Training on Forage Production Technology

NDDB Staff

22

June 19-23, 2000

Exhibitions arranged

1.   Exhibitions were arranged during Farmer's Day  celebrations in the month of January every year : Seeds and Cuttings were supplied to the farmers. Pamphlets on various aspects of Forage Crops were distributed.

2.   Fodder Crops were raised and explained to the farmers in Agri Intex, 2000 & 2001 at CODISSIA, Coimbatore

3.   NSS activities: Organized of "Field days on  Forage Crops" by the NSS students in different villages around Coimbatore district during every year.

Radio Talk

Gopalan, A. and Raja, D. 2000. Forage Production Technology.  Broadcasted on 29.8.2000 (AIR).

Gopalan, A. and D. Raja. 2001.  Teevana Payirahal.  Broadcasted on 27.2.2001 (AIR).

Gopalan, A. 2002. Can Forage Crops be cash crops?  Broadcasted on 11.10.2002

♣ Total No. of farmers supplied with seed materials : 5400

            Year                No. of Farmers

            2001-02                 2150

            2002-03                 2500

2003-04                 750 (upto Sept. 2003)

♣ Planting/seed materials supplied and total area covered from  2000 to 2003

Particulars

Quantity supplied

Area covered

 (ha)

CO-3 Bajra Napier stem cuttings (Lakhs)

33

84

Guinea grass   :    Rooted slips (Nos.)

                            Seed (kg)

1,76,620

80

4.5

16

Sorghum COFS 29

360

73

Answering the queries of the farmers in person, over phone and through tapals.

Contact Us

Director

Center for Plant Breeding and Genetics

TNAU, Coimbatore 641 003, Tamil Nadu, India.

Phone  : 091-0422-5511200

E-mail  : forage @tnau.ac.in

 

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