Cow herd.

Today the cow herd is grazing lazily in one of the paddy fields which has green manure plants growing in it. Our 20 acres of paddy land is divided in over 100 plots which are bunded and leveled individually. We have around 40 fields with lush green manure growing in it right now. The rest of the fields are all composted, plowed and waiting for a good summer rain to be re-plowed and sown with green manure seeds.

We had a very long, drawn-out monsoon this year ending only mid January; that is a month longer than usual. On top of that we had a very good rain in the 3rd week of February. We also had some light showers in May and June.

Because of this we could establish a leguminous green manure crop on over 7 acres of the rice land.
We are reaping the benefits right now because the herd of cows have a wonderful area to graze on.
Our rice plots are around 500-700m2 and the animals graze for approx. 1 hour per day in a plot to fill themselves with rich fodder. Since they graze a short time only parts of the plants will be eaten and the crop will recover after a good rain. Like this the cows have rich fodder and we have a nice green manure in September/October which will be plowed in to feed the next rice crop.
We use a mix of Pillipisaru (Phaseolus triloba) and Sesbania speciosa for this purpose. These two kinds do well in our heavy black clay soil and the animals graze mainly on the former and leave most of the Sesbania plants.

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