Performance of two fodder crops namely, sorghum (Sorghum vulgare L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) was investigated with Willow (Salix alba L.) to evaluate productivity and economics of the silvopastoral agroforestry system in Kashmir valley. The experiment was laid out by planting two year old willows at 2.0m × 2.0m spacing and dividing the main plot into sub-plots of size 8m × 2m each with 5 replications in randomized block design (RDB). The intercrops of sorghum and maize were maintained at 20cm × 10 cm spacing and supplied with recommended doses of fertilizers. The economics of the willow plantation intercropped with fodder crops was compared with sole willow farming by the benefit-cost ratio and net present worth. The study revealed the differential behaviour of Salix alba regarding growth parameters (height, diameter and girth) by different intercrops and various fodder intercrops with respect to yield, above ground biomass, dry matter production and soil nutrient status (pH, organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). The willow based silvopastoral system was estimated to have benefit-cost ratio of 2.71 with maize and 2.68 with sorghum, while as sole crop the willows accrued a benefit-cost ratio of 2.66. The study is useful in discovering growth of willows, productivity of fodder crops and soil nutrient status under various silvopastoral agroforestry systems for maximizing economic gains. The findings envisaged evidences in favour of adopting willow based silvopastoral agroforestry instead of sole tree farming and the knowledge of interactions will be helpful in proper management of the system for sustained multiple productions.
Agroforestry, Biomass, Economics, Fodder crops, Silvopastoral, Salix alba, Soil nutrients
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