Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 135–152 | Cite as

Canopy management possibilities for arboreal Leucaena in mixed sorghum and livestock small farm production systems in semi-arid India

  • Drake Hocking
  • D. Gangadhar Rao


A major problem for small farmers in the semi-arid tropics is the chronic shortage of fodder for draft animals. Leucaena leucocephala has improved productivity in many places in India and in various cropping systems, usually as either a pure crop or in a hedgerow alley-cropping configuration. Mixed cropping with arboreal forms is seldom seen. For off-season fodder production, hedgerows have the disadvantage of being open to unmanaged browsing when unfenced (as is usual). Arboreal forms are generally far less vulnerable.

In this paper, the components of production of sorghum and arboreal Leucaena are measured under different intensities of canopy lopping. The most productive management system of those examined was pollarding of the Leucaena at the time of under-sowing with sorghum. In a year with less than 50% of average seasonal rainfall, this system gave a yield of 4.6 tonnes/ha/yr fresh wt fodder and 3.8 tonnes/ha/yr dry wt. of fuel harvests, while increasing the standing crop of wood by 1.8 t/ha/yr and retaining a yield of sorghum grain equivalent to 46% of pure sorghum cropping; the LER of this system was 1.35.

Cash values of the alternative management systems were estimated, including the discounted Net Present Value of the standing crop of timber. Maximum value was attained with unlopped pure crop Leucaena followed by pollarded Leucaena with sorghum; pure crop sorghum achieved a lower value.

These results demonstrate both the high productivity of Leucaena/sorghum based systems, and the stability of production even in poor rainfall conditions. Pollarding transferred the high future value of Leucaena timber to the present value of sorghum grain and fuelwood.

Key words

Leucaena leucocephala Sorghum bicolor semi-arid India agroforestry fodder fuelwood sorghum pollarding micro-climate biomass 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anon. (1977) International Consultation on Ipil-ipil Research. Philippine Council for Agricultural and Resources Research, Manila, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  2. Anon. (1983) Leucaena Research in the Asian-Pacific Region. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  3. Freese F (1984) Statistics for Land Managers. Paeony Press, Jedburgh, ScotlandGoogle Scholar
  4. Isarasenee A, Shelton HM, Jones RM and Bunch GA (1984) Accumulation of edible forage of Leucaena leucocephala cv. Peru over late summer and autumn use as dry season feed. Leucaena Research Reports 5: 3–4Google Scholar
  5. Kanazawa Y, Sata A and Orsolino RS (1982) Above-ground biomass and the growth of giant Ipil-ipil plantations in Northern Mindanao. JARQ 15(3): 209–217. (cit. in Van Den Beldt 1983)Google Scholar
  6. Kaul RN, Gogate MG and Mathur NK (1983) Leucaena leucocephala in India. Proc. National Seminar Urulikanchan, 1981. Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  7. Parera V (1984) Some positive effects of the girdling system. Leucaena Research Reports 5: 51–52Google Scholar
  8. Parkash R and Hocking D (1986) Some favourite trees for fuel and fodder. International Book Distributors, Dehra Dun, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  9. Pound B and Martinez Cairo L (1983) Leucaena. Its cultivation and uses. Overseas Development Administration, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Rao DG and Balasubramanian V (1985) Micro-climate and biomass productivity. Annual Progress Report, CRIDA, Hyderabad, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  11. Relwani LL, Lahane BN, Khandale DY and Deshmukh SS (1985) Performance of Leucaena leucocephala on mountainous wastelands under dryland conditions. Leucaena Research Reports 6: 49–50Google Scholar
  12. Singh RP, Van Den Beldt RJ, Hocking D and Korwar GR (1986) Alley cropping in the semi-arid regions of India. Alley Cropping Workshop, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria; March 10–14, 1986Google Scholar
  13. Thompson DA (1985) Leucaena leucocephala trials in Jamaica. Leucaena Research Reports 6: 60–62Google Scholar
  14. Van Den Beldt RJ (1983a) Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) deWit for wood production. PhD Dissertation, University of Hawaii, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  15. Van Den Beldt RJ (1983b) Volumetric models for Leucaena. Leucaena ResearchReports 4: 93–95Google Scholar
  16. Zandstra HG, Price EC, Litsinger RA and Morris RA (1981) Methodology for On-Farm Cropping Systems Research. International Rice Research Institute, Los BanosGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drake Hocking
    • 1
  • D. Gangadhar Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Research Institute for Dryland AgricultureHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations