a fast growing, high quality forage that is mainly cut and fed as green chopped forage.
Berseem Rabi is an excellent and nutritious fodder. Being a leguminous crop, there are bacteria in its roots that obtain nitrogen from the air and use it for the plant, therefore, the fertility of the soil is restored by cultivating the persimmon. It gives more yield and also helps in weed control. This crop gives four to six harvests of fodder from November to May. Due to its superior properties, it has a key position in Rabi fodder. Berseem is cultivated on most of the total area of Rabi fodder. It is also cultivated in combination with oats, mustard and rye grass. 1000 to 1250 mounds (40 to 50 tons) of green fodder per acre can be obtained from the Berseem crop by following modern agronomic recommendations.
Recommended Varieties of Berseem:
The approved varieties of Berseem are Superlet Faisalabad, Punjab Berseem, Anmol, Agaiti Berseem, Lyallpur Lat and Pachaiti Berseem are important. Agaiti varieties start harvesting early and late varieties overcome fodder shortage by giving an additional harvest. Superlate Faisalabad and Lyallpur late provide fodder till June 15, while Anmol and Agaiti Berseem varieties also give about seven harvests till May 31. Punjab Berseem is a high-yielding, nutrient-rich variety which was approved recently.
Berseem seed production:
As a fodder crop, producing healthy, clean and weed-free seeds of berseem is an important process. The availability of its pure and clean seeds is quite difficult, due to which the farmers have to run a lot to get Berseem seeds. Despite this, many farmers are not able to get good seeds. Most of the requirement of Berseem seed is met from imported, adulterated, and substandard seed purchased from the market, which includes peach, chicory, rhubarb and onion besides weak seeds. This substandard seed not only affects the efficacy and nutrition of the fodder but also reduces the yield if its seed is kept, it is also bad. Therefore, it is important to clean the seeds and cultivate them.
In addition to obtaining green fodder from the recommended varieties of Berseem, their quality seed should also be produced. Green fodder varieties should be harvested in mid- to late March three times of fodder and left for seed formation and ripening. Pachaithi varieties Superlet Faisalabad should be released for seeding in the first week of April while Anmol and Agaiti Berseem should be released for seeding in the second week of April. Adequate watering of the crop is necessary during the flowering and fertilization process. This will increase the production of thick and healthy seeds. If weed plants are seen in the seeded field, they should be removed with the tip of the sickle to ensure that pure seed is obtained. If it is intended to take seeds from a crop cultivated on a large area, keep beehives (boxes) near the field so that the fertilization process is better and the seed production increases. Under optimal climatic conditions, the seed yield can be taken up to 10 mounds per acre, which can significantly increase the yield per acre. Harvesting, sowing and handling of seed crop.
Harvesting, sowing and handling of seed crop:
Berseem seed crop should be harvested when fully ripe as green pods yield green and unripe seeds. Harvesting should be done in the morning so that the ripe pods do not fall too much in the field and the seed loss is minimal. If the Berseem crop has been cultivated on a large area, it is better to harvest with a combine harvester, otherwise, the ripe Berseem crop should be cut and piled in the field and threshed with a thresher after drying. Store seeds in a ventilated and dry store. Rate of seed and mixed cultivation of Berseem:
Rate of seed and mixed cultivation of Berseem:
Use 8 kg per acre of clean, quality, healthy and weed-free seed for single crop of berseem. Intercropping of oats, mustard and rye grass with berseem increases the yield of fodder especially in the first harvest. In case of mixed cultivation with oats, use 6 and 10 to 12 kg per acre of berseem and oat seeds respectively. In case of mixed cropping with mustard, use 8 kg of berseem and 1/2 kg of mustard seed per acre. In case of intercropping with rye grass, use 7 kg of berseem and one kg of rye grass seed per acre. In the case of mixing the chicory seeds, soak the basil seeds in a 5% salt solution, the chicory seeds float to the top, plant them separately, and then wash the seeds with plenty of water and cultivate them so that the growth is not affected.
A moderate climate is required for successful cultivation of Berseem, optimal growth and abundant production. It can be cultivated even in hot weather to some extent, but its growth is slightly reduced in severe cold and frost days. Berseem can be cultivated easily in all the irrigated areas of Punjab.
Land and its preparation:
Heavy alluvial soil is suitable for cultivation of Berseem, but this crop also grows well on light soils. If irrigation facility is available, it can be cultivated even on medium kalrathi land. To prepare the land, the land should be smoothed and filled by plowing three to four times. It is very important that the land be smooth, otherwise the water will stand in the low places and the water will not reach the high places. The growth is affected and consequently the yield is reduced. Therefore, it is better for the farmers to level the land with a laser land leveler.
Time and Method of Cultivation:
The best time for cultivation of Bersim is from 1st to mid-October, however, farmers continue to cultivate it till the end of November according to their needs and conditions. Over-sowing of Bersim is prone to weed growth in the crop, especially thistle, which leads to reduced yield. Therefore, it is important to cultivate the crop at the recommended time. At the time of sowing, make proper furrows by spreading the recommended fertilizer after plowing and harrowing, and by applying water, spread the seeds of Bersim in standing water. The proper time of spreading after watering can be determined What is the nature of the land and how long it absorbs water. In the paddy areas, where the land cannot be prepared due to the lack of rain after harvesting the paddy, then by applying parpani and preparing it like a pumpkin, the seeds of Barsim can be sown.
In order to prevent this dust in the early cultivated crop of Bersim, spray pendimethalin at the rate of one and a half liter per acre three weeks before planting and apply water. Plow and leave open when weather comes. For weed control in grown crop, use poison recommended by Agriculture Department staff.
Since sowing is done after the sixth irrigation, the first irrigation should be applied one week after sowing and thereafter continue to apply water as required. In the days of extreme cold and frost, by applying light water every week after ten days, the crop is protected from the negative effects of frost and cold to a great extent. If available, preferably irrigate with canal water.
Use of Fertilizers for Berseem:
A soil analysis is necessary to determine the amount of fertilizer. However, in the absence of analysis, better yields can be obtained by following the following recommendations for average fertile land.
Amount of fertilizer (bags per acre)
Half a sack DAP + half a sack OP or
Four sacks of SSP (18%) + half a sack of Uria + half a sack of SOP
Nitrogenous fertilizer can be applied as per the requirement of the crop after harvesting the fodder. In case of sandy soil, the requirement of fertilizer is relatively high.
Sow quickly as the efficacy of the inoculum diminishes with time. Bacterial inoculum can be obtained from the Department of Bacteriology, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Naib Faisalabad and National Agricultural Research Institute, Islamabad. If inoculation is not available and the field is being cultivated for the first time, then bring about 2 mounds of soil from last year's field and put it in one acre.
Harvesting, sowing and handling of the seed crop
Berseem seed crop should be harvested when fully ripe as green pods yield green and unripe seeds. Harvesting should be done in the morning so that the ripe pods do not fall too much in the field and the seed loss is minimal. If the Berseem crop has been cultivated on a large area, it is better to harvest with a combine harvester, otherwise, the ripe Berseem crop should be cut and piled in the field and threshed with a thresher after drying. Store seeds in a ventilated and dry store.