PUDUKKOTTAI: With the unrelenting summer pushing groundwater levels deeper, farmers are finding it difficult to source green fodder for cows. According to animal husbandry officials, a milch cow has to consume 3 kg of dry fodder, 15 kg of green fodder and 60 litres of water every day to stay healthy.
The drought-like situation has resulted in an increase in the price of dry fodder (hay).
A bundle of hay that cost Rs 170 a few months ago, now sells at Rs 250. Farmers in Pudukkottai source dry fodder from the delta districts to meet their requirement. Most of them said their stock had long been exhausted.
As far as the green fodder is concerned, farmers of Pudukkottai district are raising the corns in small parts of their lands despite the insufficient water, close to open wells or bore wells. V Duraisamy of Melapatti said “I raise corn in five cents using bore-well but can pump water only for 20 minutes. Without green fodder, cows cannot give a regular amount of milk.”
A Sekar, former vice-president of Aavur village panchayat said “The lands that have little water facility now can grow the green fodder. The farmers have to guard them round the clock because other cattle may graze them during the night. Cultivating this small amount of green fodder will also be difficult in the coming days with water depleting further.”