Green fodder for cattle


my farm does not have much water. we have a cow and 1 calf. people have told me to feed them napier grass and jowar grass in addition to dry rice grass/stalks. one bunch pf jowar or napier costs Rs 17. So to buy it, will be a costly affair.
My query -
can i plant 1) jowar 2) napier grass in Jan end - Feb ?
How much water will they require ? i dont have access to much water… but i heard that both are drought resistant. is this true?

Pls enable with your views and advise. Thank you.

this is kalyan kumar from Agricultural engineering Need help for job in Agricultural sector


I cannot afford you right now Mr Kalyan! but best of luck to you

If you do not have enough water, suggest you to go for moringa, agathi, etc as they grow easily and not depend too much on water.

Hydroponics is the best way for cheap fodder and with less amount of water. Check some videos of hydroponics in YouTube for more details.


As suggested, try agathi (sesbania) or moringa. Glyricidia also gets by on less water, but needs to be irrigated until it establishes a good root structure.
You could also try growing azolla - you’ll need water initially, but the water will last long once filled. Look for videos on youtube from TNAU.

Until you sort out which crop to grow at given condition…best would be corn silage it ranges from Rs:6 to 12/- per kg. You can store them upto 1yr. Go on to Indiamart for it. Hope this helps.

Planting new slips to be considered from the month of march onwards only.

Napier or any other green fodder takes a minimum of 60 days for the first yield (they are not drought resistant)

Dry rice stalks are normally fed to the desi cows exclusively. The hybrid ones are kept far away from this (do not know why - this is the normal practice).

This is the season to procure dry fodder from the farmers at their fields directly, you are however late though.

Hydroponics did not work for me. The cows did not like it & investment went kaput.

Dear Devyani,
you can cultivate 1) guinea grass 2) Jowar multi cut 3) Mott multi cut. These crops need watering every 10 days if soil is sandy, if soil is silty no seepage you can give water on 15 days one time. these are good green fodder, having good nutrition values. Other dry matters are okay.

Best Regards,

Where are you based Kalyan ? Pl call me on 9840035099

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Along with the above Fodders you Try Azolla which is easiest grown Feed which will lessen the Feed Cost and Most healthiest while giving GOOD Creamy Milk. For more details watsApp 9133498366 or call 7416446789 Mail to

Yes vasudhafarms are correct about Azolla. you can start in a minimum expenditure.

.Best Regards,


Animals become what ‘they’ eat, and we, in turn, become what we eat through them.Could farm animals and pets alike be fed healthy foods? Definitely, and the Moringa Tree is poised to play a major part in such a necessary change.

Advantages of MORINGA cultivation as cattle fodder .
Drought tolerant and perennial plant
Rich in nutrients like crude protein, minerals & vitamins.
Propagated through seeds and vegetative means.
Used by human beings as well as livestock.
Higher biomass production potential

Moringa gives green fodder yield of around 100-120 ton/ha/year .Crop is ready for first harvest at 85-90 days after sowing .
Moringa green fodder is to be chaffed in to small pieces of 2-3 cm size through manual or
power chaff cutter for feeding to dairy animals. 15-20 kg chaffed green fodder of moringa
can be fed daily to one animal after mixing it with dry or other cereal green fodder.

You wrote - “Dry rice stalks are normally fed to the desi cows exclusively. The hybrid ones are kept far away from this (do not know why - this is the normal practice).”

As far as I know the reason is - oxalic acid content in rice straw. Oxalic acid content in rice straw erodes away their teeth. Eventually they will fail to chew the fodder. There is no treatment or solution to this problem. One way to reduce/avoid problem is soaking rice straw in fresh water for few hours before feeding the straw to the cows. When rice straw is soaked in water it leaves oxalic acid content in water. Discard the water. Remove the straw from water and feed the cows.

Why people still feed rice straw to Indian cows? Looks like Indian cows are capable of handling the oxalic acid content because they had been eating it for such a long time. They have developed some kind of resistance to oxalic acid.

Try -

Once you have required equipment this system can become productive within a week or two.

Growing any crop first you need to know ground water or any water to plant it PH level and soil chemical nature do soil test, get to know from you soil test which crops are good and also you can enrich the soil adding organic mulch and peat mos etc or green house crops. I suggest instead of working on one cow, work on 10 cows it’s the same and task. In US cattle feed means corn feed, any eatable seeds available for cheap to buy make them sprouted and feed them onces a day. All my friend suggested on plants too try it all trial and error until you turn it right.

Before you suggest hydroponics for fodder don’t you think you need to find out the quality of the water she gets in the farm?

To elaborate if your water source is from say 700+ feet it’s going to have a terrible tds reading meaning the nozzles of yr expensive hydroponics system are going to get clogged up with mineral salts etc

You need to elaborate on yr labour dependent etc to give you the appropriate solution

Certainly, water quality does have a role to play with the quality of operation of hydroponics.

We do have products to utilize high TDS water, e.i. up to 8,000 TDS, for Hydroponic fodder. We can produce up to 7 kg fodder from 1 kg of corn in 7 days.

Good to see you here, PNS. Did’t realise you were on this forum. … Cheers, Ronnie (formerly of SoftBrands/FourthShift)

There are some things that are attractive at first look, but fall apart upon analysis .
Hydroponic forage is one such concept .
This sounds quite amazing ( 1 kg . makes 7 kg . in a week!), that is until you start thinking about it more carefully.
All animal rations consider feeds primarily as dry matter (DM) equivalents, since water is provided separately and all of the other nutrients required by the animals to live, grow, and lactate are in the dry matter (DM) portion.
Thus, a feed with 90% water (such as sprouted grain) has considerably less ‘feed value’ than something with only 5% water (such as the grain itself).