The ICAR- Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Srinagar is focusing on collection, conservation, evaluation, improvement, production and conservation of fodder crops in temperate region of the country. The station has emerged as an apex centre for generation of farmer friendly technologies during last decade in various temperate fodder crops. It is continuously carrying out need based research to boost the productivity and quality of temperate fodder crops for sustainable livestock production. The station is lying between the coordinates 33°59’12″N longitude and 74°47’52″E latitude at an altitude of 1640m above mean sea level. The distance from the historical Lal Chowk of Srinagar (J&K) is about 15 Kms through the Lal chowk-Rambag-Chanapora-Kralapora-Handelbag village road, other approach road being through Station Headquarters, Old Air Field, Rangreth, Srinagar. The station has in possession about 23 acres of land as per Memorandum of Understanding between ICAR and SKUAST-K, of which 20 acres are under cultivation. The mission of the station is to address fodder related issues and to enhance the productivity and profitability of forages on sustainable basis in North Western Himalayan Temperate and sub temperate regions of India. It is the only major institution involved exclusively in fodder and grassland based research in North Western Himalayan region.
- Collection, Evaluation, Introduction and Documentation of temperate and sub-temperate forage germplasm
- Development of improved varieties of forage crops and range species for sustainable livestock production
- Basic, applied and strategic research on improvement, production and utilization of temperate fodder crops and pasturelands.
- Technology Transfer and Human Resource Development
- Collection, characterization and conservation of forage genetic resources
- Pasture improvement in Himalayan region
- Enhance fodder resource availability through alternate land use systems
- Serving as a nodal agency for transfer of fodder production technologies and human resource development for Himalayan region
- Quality seed production of temperate grasses and legumes
Improved lines of temperate grasses and legumes:IGFRIRS-Festuca-14 in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea (Schreb.) Hack); IGFRIRS-Dactylis-11 in orchard grass/ cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.); IGFRIRS- Phalaris -2 in harding grass (Phalaris aquatica); IGFRIRS-Bromus-27 in prairie grass (Bromus unioloides Kunth ); IGFRIRS-Phleum-23 in timothy (Phleum pratense L); IGFRIRS-Lolium-38 in makhan grass (Lolium multiflorum L); IGFRIRS-Tr-23 in white clover (Trifolium repens L.); IGFRIRS- Tp-13 in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and IGFRIRS-Onobrychis-17 in sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop).
Almond based hortipasture technology for Karewa lands :Main crop: Apple Fodder crops: Dactylis and red clover/white clover, Lolium + red clover/white clover, Nature of fodder crops: Perennial Distance of planting fodder crops from fruit/plantation crop: 100 cm from main crop Distance between fodder crops: 50 cm X 50 cm, 30 x 40 cm Cutting schedule: First cutting 60-75 days after sowing, subsequent cuttings every 40-50 days interval Fodder Yield: 9.13 to 10.72 t DM/ha Fruit yield: 25-30 t/ha , BC ratio: 4.5, ACU supported: 5-6 Phalaris + Trifolium pratense exhibited highest weed control efficiency (56.35 %) followed by Festuca arundinacea + Trifolium pratense (47.68 %) and Dactylis glomerata + Trifolium pratense (42.45 %). Highest green fodder (32.90 t/ ha and dry matter yield (10.56 t/ha) were recorded in Phalaris + Red clover treatment followed by tall fescue+ red clover treatment with 29.12 t/ha and 8.21 t/ha, green fodder and dry matter yield respectively. It is recommended that interspaces in almond orchards could be utilized for growing forage crops like, Phalaris, tall fescue and orchard grass in combination with red clover in 50:50 proportion for enhanced forage yield and effective control of weeds PoPs of Orchard grass In orchard grass, fertilizer dose @ 100 kg N + 60 kg P2O5 + 40 kg K2O/ha recorded maximum growth parameters (plant height: 126.67 cm ; no. of tillers per m row length; 512.33; leaf-stem ratio; 1.81), GFY (29.85 t/ha) and DFY (11.35 t/ha), while seed rate @ 16 kg/ha in 30 cm row spacing recorded higher GFY (27.83 t/ha)
- More than 500 accessions of different temperate grasses/legumes and top feeds. Most of the collected germplasm is being maintained in the Field Gene Bank of the station, whereas some accessions have been conserved in the National Gene Bank at New Delhi and MTS at IGFRI, Jhansi.
- In an apple based hortipastoral system, forage production and quality was significantly influenced by different grass//legume combinations and the maximum yield was recorded in tall fescue + red clover (7.35 t DM/ha) followed by orchard grass+ red clover with minimum in white clover + apple (5.32 t DM/ha). In almond based hortipastoral system, highest green fodder (32.90 t/ ha and dry matter yield (10.56 t/ha) were recorded in Phalaris + red clover treatment followed by tall fescue + red clover treatment with 29.12 t/ha and 8.21 t/ha, green fodder and dry matter yield respectively.
- In mulberry based silvopasture system, the results revealed that maximum green fodder yield (73.42 t/ha), dry fodder yield (19.09 t/ha) and crude protein yield (3.26 q/ha) were observed under the treatment T6 (Phalaris + orchard grass + sainfoin + mulberry) which was followed by T4 (Phalaris + sainfoin + mulberry).
- As per the elevation, the vertical distribution of grasslands was found highest between 1500-4500 m, the grasslands of the state were classed as sub-tropical, sub-tropical to sub-temperate, sub-temperate to sub-alpine and alpine pastures. The relief ranges from 500 m. in Jammu to >6000 m. in Ladakh region. About 9595 sq. km (4.32%) area is under productive grasslands and where as other grazinglands including scrubs and other unpalatable grasslands were 10455 sq. km (9.81%) of the total geographical area. The area under grasslands in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh was 3.53, 13.22 and 5.76 percent respectively together contributing about 6756.5 sq. km or 6.34%.
Projects (on Going)
- (CRSCIGFRISIL20141002xxxxx): Establishment and Evaluation of Almond based Hortipastoral System in Karewa uplands of Kashmir.
- (CRSCIGFRISIL20171001): Forage Yield and Quality of Temperate Grass-legume mixtures in Mulberry-based Silvopastoral systems.
- (CRSCIGFRISIL20171302): Standardization of agronomic practices in orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) for enhanced forage yield and quality.
- (CRSCIGFRISIL20201001xxxxx) Studies on temperate pastureland for enhanced forage yield, quality and environmental sustainability.
- “Ensiling of temperate grasses/legumes for increased livestock productivity”.
- “Genetic Improvement in Temperate Forage Crops”
Dr Suheel Ahmad (Sr. Scientist & OIC)
Dr Sheeraz Saleem Bhat (Sr. Scientist, Forest Genetic Resources)
- Dr Nazim Hamid Mir (Agronomy)