Lucerne (Kuthurai masal)


Lucerne (Kuthurai masal)



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Lucerne (Medicago sativa)is a leguminous best fodder crop rich in protein grown as annual and perennial crop. It is also called as `Queen of forages’. Once grown it can be maintained up 3-4 years. It contains 15-20% of protein having 72% digestibility. It contains calcium, phosphorous, Vitamins A, B and D. It should be fed to cattle in limited quantities only. It is cultivated under irrigation in deep well drained soils. The crop is semipermanent and spreads the entire area. This should be noted before cultivating the crop.

Lands suitable: Lucerne can be grown well sandy loams and does not tolerate waterlogged areas. Heavy soils require a good drainage. It does not grow well on alkaline soils but can be grown on acidic soils with application of lime. For growing Lucerne the soil must be rich in organic matter, calcium, phosphorous and potash.

Preparation of the land: The land should be ploughed well with deep ploughing and the bed needs to be prepared well as the seeds are very small. Field is divided into small plots like beds and channel preferably 10 x 10 m size. The best time for sowing the seed is October- November.

Varieties: CO-1, CO-2

Seedrate :15 kg/ ha

Spacing          : Between row 30 cm, plant to plant is continuous

Manuring: FYM @ 20-25 tons/ha at the time of land preparation. 25 Kgs of N and and 120 Kgs of phosphorous and 40 kg of potash per hectare should be applied as a basal application for better yield of fodder. 20 kg of Nitrogen should be applying as top dressing on 30 days after sowing.

Irrigation: Pre sowing irrigation should be given without fail. The crop needs rather frequent irrigation at least once in a week till the crop is established. After establishment of the crop well irrigation can be given 10-15 days. The crop requires regular weeding for a better yield.

Harvesting: First cut can be taken by 65- 70 days and thereafter 25-35 days interval should be given. The annual yield of the fodder is about 70-80 tons per hectare (10 harvest) by the annual fodder crop and about 80- 100 tons per hectare by perennial fodder crop.


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