Good day all, this is my first post in the group.
I have a 7 acre mango garden in Chittoor district Andhra Pradesh. I am planning a small sheep farm too on it. I was wondering, how can I make a pasture on this land instead of intercroping. This land has been in my family for more that 75 years and has been plowed, fertilized numerous time.
I am planning on just sprinkling a mix of legume seeds before the rains but this is just my inexperienced thought.
Please guide me on how I can make this land into a grazing paddock.
Looks like your first post to the forum. Hearty Welcome!
There are several factors that might influence what you grow and produce.
In case, if you have dedicated space (between the tree rows will also work), I suggest that you plant grasses. My rationale below:
Sheep do like to graze especially in grasslands. That has a very positive impact on their mental and physical well being.
Grasses once established, require little maintenance and can grow on their own. If you are able to water and provide light, natural inputs such as jeevamrut/bio fertilisers then nothing like it
Grasses are hardy and can survive dry spells. Very disease resistant. It is also very easy to recuperate them.
Grasslands are the best carbon sequesters and will tremendously boost the soil quality. Helpful if you are going to expand your agriculture enterprise.
Grasses are perennial, depending on the variety, of course
Grasses are critical part of the ecosystem. They support a lot of flora and fauna. They will keep away pests. Support bees and other nectar sucking insects which can help in pollination of your orchards.
You have not mentioned the availability if water. But I guess it is sufficient as you already have a mango orchard and were planning for legumes. I would suggest that you use a rain gun to water the pastures. Very economical and least labour intensive.
Later you can sprinkle a variety of vegetable seeds. Some additional organic output.
I would also suggest that you plant napier, elephant grass on the border as additional fodder to complement the grazing.
BAIF near Pune supply grasses for cultivation purposes. They conduct research in live stock and should be able to provide their perspective as well.
Maybe you can try your hand at Holistic Management :)!
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for your welcome and reply. It was very informative reading what you have advised. Fortunately we are blessed with water both by wells and bore.
I will reach out to BAIF and get the necessary information.
I will read up on how to make jeevamuratham. We do have access to cattle manure.
I will keep you informed on my progress.