“Manure is an organic matter derived from the solid animal wastes, used to improve the soil quality and increase the yield of healthy crops.”
What is Manure?
Manure is the decomposed form of dead plants and animals which is applied to the soil to increase the production. It is a natural form of fertilizer and is cost-effective. The human and animal excreta is also used as manure. The livestock manure is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Manure is highly rich in organic matter and humus and thus improves the soil fertility. These are better in the long run and does not cause any pollution. It is a valuable and renewable resource.
Manure can be obtained from various sources. The different sources of manure are mentioned below:
Cattle dung, urine, and slurry from biogas plants.
Wastes from human habitation such as human urine, night soil, sludge, sewage, domestic waste.
Droppings of goat and sheep
Waste from the slaughterhouses such as bones, meat, horn and hoof meal, fish waste
By-products of agricultural industries
Weeds, water hyacinth
Also Read: Crop production and management
Types of Manure
Manure can be grouped as farmyard manure, green manure and compost manure. Following are the different types of manure used by the farmers:
Green manure increases the percentage of organic matter in the soil. The roots of such manures go deep into the soil. These help in the suppression of weeds and the prevention of soil erosion.
Farmyard manure improves the soil structure and is used as a natural fertilizer in farming. It increases the soil capacity to hold more water and nutrients. It also increases the microbial activity of the soil to improve its mineral supply and also the plant nutrients.
It improves the soil structure and water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil. Thus, it increases the nutrient value and thereby improves the health of the plants.
Advantages of Manure
These are a good source of macronutrients.
Improves soil fertility.
Reduces soil erosion and leaching.
Improves the physical properties of the soil and aerates the soil.
Improves the water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
It helps in killing weeds and pests.
It can be transported easily.
Methane gas is evolved as the by-product of manure that can be used for cooking and heating purposes.
The crops grown on the land treated with manure produces healthy crops.
Manure is an ideal soil amendment. When it is applied to the agricultural fields it acts as a field residue. Farmers can sell the manure to people who need to improve their soil fertility. Thus, it can bring income to farmers. They add to the overall soil ability and sustainability. Manure increases the water holding capacity of the soil. The soil organic content can also be improved by applying raw manure like biochar, compost, etc.
Different types of manure contain about 26% solid. The solid and liquid portions are segregated and the solids are used for bedding. The carbon content and other elements can be used to produce different biofuels. Manure also contains a large number of fibres. The undigested animal feed, straw, sawdust, or other bedding contains a lot of fibre.
Manure is environment-friendly and has worked a great deal in increasing food production. It was very difficult to feed a growing population. Use of manure improved the fertility of the soil and increased the yield of the crops.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is manure?
Manure is an organic matter that is derived from animal faeces. These are obtained naturally and have no harmful impact on the soil and environment.
What are the different types of manure?
The different types of manure include:
- Green manure
- Farmyard manure
- Compost manure
How is manure beneficial to us?
Manure improves the soil profile and its water-holding capacity. It adds nutrients to the soil and makes the soil more fertile. It does not harm the water bodies as well.
Is cow dung the best form of manure?
Cow dung forms the best manure in case of gardening. It also acts a nutrient-rich fertilizer when it is turned into compost and applied to crops.
How long does composting take?
It takes about three months for manure to convert into compost under hot and moist environment. If the conditions are not optimum, it might take a year for composting. Horse manure is the best form of manure to be converted into compost. It takes only about 4-6 weeks for composting.