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Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University with Milkfed Punjab and National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Anand is going to conduct a collaborative study on the utilization of paddy straw silage in the ration of dairy animals to overcome the problem of paddy straw burning in the state. In this regard a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr Inderjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor. It was attended by Dr Rajesh Sharma, Senior Manager NDDB, Dr Renu, GM (procurement) Milkfed, researchers from the University, NDDB and Milkfed. Dr Parkash Singh Brar, Director of Extension Education welcomed the participants and highlighted the problem of paddy straw burning in Punjab. Dr. Inderjeet Singh emphasized on use of paddy straw in livestock production to overcome the problem of burning the paddy stubble. He said that due to scarcity and high cost of wheat straw, last year paddy straw was fed for months at the University dairy farm without any adverse effects on productivity and health of animals. Milk production of dairy animals increased by 17% when paddy straw was used as bedding material. He said that presently also it is being used in total mixed ration along with urea and molasses to lactating animals. He cited examples of few progressive farmers who are regularly using paddy straw over years to their dairy animals without any ill effect on productivity or health of their animals.

Dr. Rajesh Sharma said about use of enzymes and lactobacillus culture to conserve green paddy stubbles just after combine harvesting and urged to conduct trials in Punjab at larger scale in collaboration with Milkfed. He said that baling and conserving of green paddy stubbles would make its transport easy to anywhere in Punjab or other parts of the country. Dr Renu discussed the costs involved in making paddy straw bales, its ensiling, transport etc. Dr M R Garg from Milkfed explained that making silage of fresh/green paddy stubble will help to vacate farmers’ fields soon after reaping rice.

Dr JS Lamba explained work done by the Department of Animal Nutrition on paddy straw silage making and comparative efficiencies of enzymes, cultures, urea, molasses etc, in enhancing the nutritional value of paddy straw. The house agreed to conduct trials at the university farm before getting the technology.

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