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The Directorate of Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana organized a Panel Discussion to clarify the misconceptions about the use of silage and to educate dairy farmers against the adverse effects of poor-quality silage. Dr. Parkash Singh Brar, Director of Extension Education said that the dairy industry in Punjab has made tremendous progress owing to improved management practices and innovations. One of the most widely adopted technologies in dairy farming is the use of silage to improve the nutrition of dairy animals. Regular supply of fodder is the foundation of milk production and the dairy industry relies on silage for ensuring availability of green fodder throughout the year. But use of poor silage can severely affect the health and production of dairy animals. Poor quality of silage has been reported in some parts of the state in the recent past leading to health concerns in dairy animals. He added that the panel discussion was arranged to educate the field functionaries of line departments and dairy farmers about production of good quality silage. Dr. R S Grewal, Director of Livestock Farms explained the importance of the methods for silage making including the design of bunkers, chaffing of fodder, proper pressing, covering and scraping. Preservation of green fodder in the form of silage is an excellent technology to ensure the availability of good quality fodder throughout the year. He also shared the quality parameters of silage and advised that silage must be discarded completely if visible fungus or aflatoxin beyond a limit is detected in it. Dr. Grewal also discussed the advantages of using additives during silage making to improve its quality. He said that it can be used for all ruminants including buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep etc.
Dr R K Sharma, Head, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education talked about the common problems in dairy animals due to poor silage. He emphasized that dairy farmers must approach the university for testing their silage before feeding it to animals. Regular testing of silage is important. Dr. A S Pannu said that the problem with poor silage is more with small and medium farmers who produce it at small scale or purchase it and keep it in the open for a large period. Around 100 veterinarians, other field functionaries and farmers attended the panel discussion.

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