Intercropping of Maize with Soybean under Integrated Nutrient Management showcases the role of Organic Fertilizers in Silage Production and Quality
Keywords:cereal, legume, intercropping, plant nutrition, forage preservation
Increase in forage production is required to meet the increasing demand, therefore, this study was planned for enhancing forage quality and quantity alongside synthesis of quality silage from corn stover. Hence, maize hybrids were intercropped with soybeans and given reduced and full doses of chemical fertilizers integrated with biofertilizers (plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and/or organic fertilizers, compared to the recommended dose of fertilizers, and productivity of fresh fodder as well as the quality of silage were measured. It was observed that the PGPR-coated recommended dose of fertilizer (nitrogen 247 kg/ha, phosphorus 144 kg/ha, and potassium 92 kg/ha) showed maximum support to plants' growth (plant height, number of leaves, fresh forage production) and offered a better quality of silage through improvement in dry matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, hemicellulose and cellulose, and decrease in pH. Similarly, integration of reduced doses of chemical fertilizers (nitrogen 123 kg/ha, phosphorus 144 kg/ha, and potassium 92 kg/ha) with organic as well as biofertilizers also showed all morphological parameters of the forage, as well as lactic acid, dry matter, pH, hemicellulose, and neutral detergent fiber of the silage statistically at par with the recommended dose of chemical fertilizers.