Southern Regional Research Station, Dharwad (Karnataka)
The Dharwad Regional Research Station of Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute is established in Karnataka (May 1987) during the seventh five-year plan with two-room office located near the veterinary hospital premises, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. Subsequently in 2005 it is shifted to its own 10 acres campus located opposite to University of Agricultural Sciences campus on the Pune-Bangalore National Highway No.4. The new office-cum-laboratory building was constructed in this campus and was inaugurated by Dr. Mangala Rai, Honourbale Secretary DARE and Director General ICAR on 16.08.2009
- Development of client oriented fodder technologies for different farming systems
- Production of fodder seeds and development of forage seed production technologies
- Socio economic research for assessing the feasibility and sustainability of the technologies
- Serving as a nodal agency for transfer of forage technology and human resource development
Address for correspondance
The OIC, Regional Research Station, Dharwad (Karnataka)
Use of Aerial Seeding Technology for Grassland Development-First of its kind in the country
ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute has developed agro-climatic zone specific grassland development technologies. Implementation of these technologies was however confined to smaller area. One of the reasons is vastness of grassland area, poor access to these areas (especially the middle part) and small window of soil moisture availability for sowing grasses in vast area. Since the area under such common lands are very large and to cover these lands with productive fodder crops, use of artificial intelligence technology like Aerial Seeding technology using drone was attempted. Aerial seeding is a technique wherein seed are sprayed using aerial devices such as drones. It was taken up by in collaboration with Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Bengaluru and Aerosight technologies, Bengaluru. Site identified was 50 acre land of Livestock Breeding Farm, Hessarghatta (Bengaluru). Three crops C. ciliaris, Grazing guinea and Stylosanthes hamata were selected keeping in view the climatic conditions, soil type, hardiness, persistence and survivability. Sample of seed of these crops were used using the facilities of M/s Aerosight so as to work out better seed disbursal mechanism. Discussions were held to finalise the process. Since the use of drone technology was for the first time coupled with very tiny nature of fodder seeds, many trials were conducted for the proper dispersal of the seeds from drone. After repeated trials, the seed sowing device suitable for tiny seeds sowing was designed and fabricated/integrated with the quad-copter agricultural drone. Actual aerial sowing of these grass seed in 50 acre land using drone was done in the month of September 2021. The germination of grass seed is adjudged as very good. So, this leveraging of aerial seed sowing technology made developing vast grasslands a possibility. It saves the time besides reduces labour dependency.
This initiative of ICAR-IGFRI is first such attempt in India and the work lead to design of conveyor mechanism with precise seed dispersal and good germination. This brings closer to the reality of converting unreached common lands to productive grasslands in the country.