Dinanath Grass- A High Yielding Forage
This crop is named as Dinanath grass because it yields to much high at minimum inputs and thus proved one of the best for poor farmers. It is originated in India . Later on a number of superior ecotypes were isolated in Ranchi from seed samples obtained from Nigeria. The fodder value of Dinanath grass was first recognized in Nigeria and Australia. Now this crop is widely recognized as a forage crop all over India i.e. Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Wst Bengal.
- Dinanath Grass- A High Yielding Forage
- Table 1. Chemical composition and digestibility of various varieties of Dinanath grass.
- Table 2: Nutritive intake and nutritive value of dinanath grass*.
Dinanath Grass- A High Yielding Forage
Dr Awadhesh Kishore and Rakhi Sharma
Sarvoday Mahavidyalaya, Chaumuhan-281406, Mathura INDIA
Institute for Development of Technology for Rural Advancement, Mathura-281004 INDIA
This crop is named as Dinanath grass because it yields to much high at minimum inputs and thus proved one of the best for poor farmers. The crop is originated in India i.e. in the Rajputana hills, Chhota Nagpur, Orissa, Occidental peninsula of India and Madhya Pradesh. Later on a number of ecotypes were isolated in Ranchi from seed samples obtained from Nigeria. These ecotypes proved to be superior to the local strains, but the fodder value of Dinanath grass was first recognized in Nigeria and Australia. Now this crop is widely recognized as a forage crop all over India i.e. Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Wst Bengal.
Dinanath grass, Pennisetum pedicellatum, Green fodder, Animal Nutrition, India.
Dinanath grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) is such green fodder (Image 1; Table 1) which needs low inputs and is capable to yield more forage even in comparison to sorghum and bajra. For an example, Dinanath grass yielded 71 tones per hectare whereas Bajra and sorghum produced only 40 and 44 tones per hectare. It has also been reported that its production is higher in comparison to other non-leguminous grasses and fodders. In view of its tolerance towards draught condition, insects, pests, birds and diseases it is considered future potential to provide green fodder during summer months i.e. May to July. The more important thing is that there is a drastic scarcity of green fodder in the whole country during this particular period. Secondly, the most of the forages cultivated during this period contain anti-metabolites, i.e. oxalic acid in bajra and Napier grass, prussic acid in sorghum etc. But the content of such anti-metabolites in Dinanath grass is almost negligible.
Dinanath grass is concerned with the Gramineae family of plant kingdom. Its height ranges from 1-3 meter, leaves are 40-50 cm long and light to dark in colour. The stem is erect and juicy with numerous tillers.
The agronomical practices recommended for the crop are suggested as seed rate 15 kg/h, spacing 30 cm and dose of nitrogen 150 kg/ hectare and potassium 40 kg/ hectare. The lime stone is also required especially in acidic soils. The dose of phosphorus and row spacing do not affect the fodder yield of this crop. The fodder yield of Dinanath grass is 30-40 tones/hectare without any fertilizer application. The fodder yield of this crop sometimes may even go up to 128 tones/hectare.
India with an already large livestock population is likely to have a further increment in the same. With about 15 per cent of world’s livestock population and only 2 per cent of world geographical area, the per annum productivity of our livestock is amongst lowest in the world. Of the various constraints on the animal productivity viz. limited availability of high yielding breeds and feed resource, poor management and disease control, inadequate feed resource availability is the most important. According to an assumption, there is a huge gap (about 40 per cent) between requirement and availability of green fodder. This means, that India has not only to bridge the existing gap between requirements and availability of fodder but to augument the resources in such a way that additional requirements for the growing livestock population are also met.
Besides, country has to provide food for a very large human population. For this purpose a substantially large population of total land used for cultivation of food, fibre and cash crops, leaving very little land is being for growing cultivated fodders or for grazing of livestock. In view of the above the supply of feed can be increased by using high yielding and nutritious varieties of fodder crops. Dinanath grass may be a very good source to take this opportunity to fulfill fodder requirements.
The intake data of Dinnanath grass at flowering stage report that the fodder is very much palatable and acceptable by the ruminants (Table 2). The intake of dry matter, crude protein intake and digestible energy intake were 2.53 Kg, 427 g and 5.12 M cal per 100 Kg body weight in growing crossbred heifers, respectively. The digestibility coefficients are also found to be more than 60%. Nutritive value of the crop is also more or less similar to sorghum fodder.
It can be concluded that Dinanath grass fodder is more or less equivalent to sorghum fodder and can replace any one of the green fodders having low yields and high inputs. Being Annual grass the forage is available round the year even on low fertile lands.
Table 1. Chemical composition and digestibility of various varieties of Dinanath grass.
Varieties of Dinanath grass (%) T-8 T-10 T-15 Hybrid
Dry matter 88.90 89.20 88.30 89.00
Crude protein 3.50 4.37 4.81 3.50
Neutral detergent fibre 60.20 59.10 63.20 61.40
Acid detergent fibre 38.20 35.20 39.40 37.10
Acid detergent lignin 5.94 4.64 4.74 4.28
Hemi cellulose -- 23.90 23.80 24.30
Cellulose 29.40 27.40 31.80 29.60
Total ash 11.10 10.80 11.70 11.0
Silica 2.88 3.19 2.88 3.19
Digestibility co-efficient 61.80 65.60 53.80 63.80
Source: Das et al. 1974. Indian J Dairy Sci., 27: 234.
Table 2: Nutritive intake and nutritive value of dinanath grass*.
Parameter Dinanath grass Sorghum fodder
DM Intake (Kg/100 Kg Live Weight) 2.53 3.00
DDM Intake (Kg/100 Kg Live Weight) 1.59 1.87
CP Intake (g/100 Kg Live Weight) 427.00 317.00
DE Intake (M cal/100 Kg Live Weight) 5.12 6.57
Dry matter Digestibility (%) 65.40 62.60
Crude protein digestibility 69.10 63.50
Crude fibre digestibility (%) 69.10 70.90
NDF Digestibility 64.30 59.30
ADF Digestibility 64.90 46.80
Metabolizable energy (%) 1.72 1.80
Digestible Crude Protein (%) 12.14 6.76
* Dinanath grass was enriched by urea.
Source: Kishore and Verma, 2000. Anim. J. Ani. Nutr. 17:311.