Ludhiana 21 August 2021-Paddy straw burning is a major environmental issue in the state, which poses a serious threat to human health. To explore use of paddy straw burning as animal feed, a workshop was organized by Directorate of Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Ludhiana for animal scientists working at all KVKs of the state.

Dr Inderjeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor stressed on joint efforts of PAU, GADVASU and line departments to make farmers aware about use of paddy straw as cheaper source of livestock nutrition. He told that out of 8-million-ton rice straw being burnt in field, 0.8 million ton can be consumed by unproductive animals kept in gaushalas only.

Dr Rajbir Singh, Director Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI) Ludhiana advised scientists to find out reasons for less use of paddy straw in Punjab as compared to other states and address them. Dr J S Mahal Director of Extension Education PAU Ludhiana asked all the KVKs to immediately start with trials at KVK dairy farms to generate reliable data and develop as demonstration units. During the workshop, treatment of paddy straw with urea and molasses to improve its nutritive value, making urea treated bales during harvesting and exporting to adjoining states were discussed apart from its alternate uses in livestock. Misconceptions about ill effects of paddy straw feeding were also cleared by the scientists. Silica content of paddy straw can be greatly reduced by simply chaffing the straw while oxalates are highly soluble so soaking the paddy straw for a short while before feeding takes care of this issue as well.

Dr P S Brar, Director of Extension Education GADVASU emphasized that instead of burning of paddy straw, its feeding for animal production can be a viable option for milk and meat production and thanked scientists for their inputs. Dr U S Chahal told that research trials will be carried out in near future, to store and feed paddy straw as silage. A book on 'Paddy Residue Management ' was also released during the workshop. The practical demonstration of urea, molasses treatment of paddy straw was much appreciated by the participants.