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Research in Agrometeorolgy on Fodder Crops in Central India—An Overview

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ABSTRACT

Livestock rearing is one of the major occupations in India and is making significant contribution to the country GDP. The regional and seasonal variations in the teperature and rainfall distribution have been the major factors influencing the economy of a region. It is a matter of serious concern that out of 11 districts of central India, 9 districts are showing increasing trend in maximum temperature with a rate of 0.01°C to 0.15°C/year. A significant long-term decreasing trend (Slope = -4.26) was found in annual rainfall series at Jhansi. At Jhansi, moderate to severe drought occurs once in five years. But in the last decade, 7 years experienced moderate to disastrous drought in Jhansi region, wherein rainfall deficiency ranged between 40% and 60% from normal value. Of special mention was the year, 2006, which experienced a worst drought ever recorded for this region. Studies related to crop simulation model was carried out for fodder sorghum and its application for agronomic management and assessing the impact of climate change. Crop modeling studies on forage sorghum (C4) and cowpea (C3) showed increased dry matter biomass by 3% in sorghum but more prominent in cowpea by 46% under elevated CO2 from 330 ppm to 770 ppm. The interaction study of enhanced CO2 and temperature showed prominent negative impact on yields of both the crops. Evapotranspiration and crop coefficient (Kc) of several fodder crops i.e. berseem, lucerne, oat, sorghum, teosinte, maize + cowpea, guinea + berseem were worked out. In berseem, the highest Kc (1.81) was found during 2nd cutting followed by 3rd and 4th cuts. Estimates on irrigation scheduling for the guinea grass + berseem showed that the cropping system requires 7 irrigations at an interval ranging from 13 to 30 days to fulfill the 567.6 mm of water per season as net irrigation under mar soil (black) type whose actual water holding capacity (AWHC) is 175 mm. Similarly, if the cropping system is grown under kabar (AHWC = 140 mm) soil, then it requires nine irrigation with a total water requirement of 591.5 mm at an interval ranging from 10 to 24 days. For integrated pest management (IPM) scheme of lucerne, degree day based model was developed to monitor the lucerne weevil population in central region.

Cite this paper

S. Rai, P. Ghosh, S. Kumar and J. Singh, "Research in Agrometeorolgy on Fodder Crops in Central India—An Overview," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2014, pp. 78-91. doi: 10.4236/acs.2014.41011.

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