Production of the fodder legume, Lathyrus sativus, was studied in the rice fields of farmers to mitigate a shortage of fodder supply to dairy cattle and to improve soil fertility. Eight farmers broadcast seed of the fodder legume as a relay crop in standing Aman rice. Fodder yield was recorded and soil fertility was assessed. Fodder was harvested after 2 months and fed to milking cows by mixing with straw. Average green yield of fodder was 11.02 t/ha and soil OM and nitrogen were increased as a result of legume growth. Milk yield was increased by 20% and 14% in on-farm and research station studies respectively, and milk composition slightly increased due to the supplementation of straw with fodder. It may be concluded that the integration of a fodder legume into a rice-based cropping system is a practical solution to fodder shortage and that it restores soil fertility and improves milk yield and milk composition of dairy cows.
Akbar, M.A.; Islam, M.S.; Bhuiya, M.S.U.; Islam, M.S.; Hossain, M.A. Integration of Fodder Legumes into Rice-based Cropping Systems in Bangladesh : Production of Lathyrus Sativus and Its Use as a Supplement to Straw-based Rations of Dairy Cows. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences (2000) 13: 526-528.