Difference Between Manure and Fertilizers – A Full Guide

Introduction: Hello farmers and gardeners today we are here with a great information of Types of manure, Types of fertilziers and  Difference Between Manure and Fertilizers. To increase agriculture produce, the farmers work on improving the fertility of the soil, which is possible by adding both manure and fertilizer.

When several crops are grown one after the other, it decreases the productivity of the soil. Though, this can be overcome by adding manures and fertilizers to the soil. This increases the yield of the plants and restores the productivity of the soil. Thus, manures and fertilizers are paramount for efficient crop production.

Several advantages of manure are given below;

  • Manure increases the water holding capacity of the soil and it makes the soil porous and facilitates the exchange of gases.
  • The texture of the soil improves and the number of microbes increases in the soil.

Now, let us get into the details of Difference Between Manure and Fertilizers.

A step by step guide to difference between manure and fertilizers

Manure refers to the natural substance that is obtained from the decomposition of the waste of plants and animals such as cow dung, fish meal, etc.

The different sources of manure are given below;

  • Cattle dung, urine, and slurry from biogas plants.
  • Droppings of goat and sheep
  • Waste from the slaughterhouses such as bones, meat, and hoof meal
  • By-products of agricultural industries and fish waste
  • Crop waste
  • Weeds, water hyacinth

On the other hand, fertilizer is the chemical substances which can be added to the soil to raise its nutrient content. If you are planning for farming, you must be known about the ways to enhance the fertility of the soil. And fertilizer is a synthetic substance or an inorganic compound.

Types of Manure.
Types of Manure.

Types of Manure

Manure can be mainly grouped as farmyard manure, green manure, and compost manure. Different types of manure contain 26% solid. The solid portion and liquid portions are segregated and the solids are used for bedding. The carbon content and other elements can be used to generate different biofuels. Manure contains a large number of fibers. The undigested animal feed, straw, sawdust, and other bedding contains a lot of fiber.

The followings are some of the important organic manures are given below;

  • Cow dung
  • Farmyard manure
  • Compost
  • Poultry manures
  • Oil cakes
  • Blood meal
  • Meat meal
  • Fish meal
  • Vermicompost
  • Green manures etc.

Different types of manure are given below;

Following are the different types of manure used by the farmers:

  • Green Manure
  • Compost Manure
  • Farmyard Manure

Green manure

Green manure will increase the percentage of organic matter in the soil. The roots of such manures go deep into the soil and these help in the suppression of weeds and the prevention of soil erosion.

Green manuring is the practice of plowing green plants into the soil for improving soil fertility. Green manure provides organic matter and nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorous to the soil.

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Green manure crops are formed in the field itself either as a pure crop, or as an intercrop with the main crop, and buried in the same field. The most general green manure crops are sunn hemp, dhaincha, and guar. Tender green-twigs and the leaves are collected from wastelands which are spread in the field and incorporated into the soil. Shrubs and trees are cut and turned into the soil e.g. Shrubs like glyricidia, sesbania, karanj.

Green manures also referred to as fertility building crops can be broadly defined as crops grown for the benefit of the soil.

Some of the Green manure crops are;

Late-summer and fall green manure crops are oats and rye.

Other green manure crops;

Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Cowpea, Clover (e.g. annual sweet clover), Fava beans, Fenugreek, Lupin, Groundnut, Millet, Mustard, Radishes such as tillage radish or daikon radish, Sesbania, Sorghum, and Soybean.

Advantages of Green manure can be discussed below;

  • Adding organic matter to the soil
  • Increasing biological activity
  • Improving soil structure
  • Reduction of erosion
  • Increasing the supply of nutrients (particularly by adding nitrogen to the system by fixation)
  • Reducing leaching losses
  • Suppressing weeds
  • Reducing pest and disease problems
  • Providing supplementary animal forage
  • Drying and warming the soil

Compost Manure

Compost manure improves the soil structure and water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil. Thus, it increases the nutrient value and thus improves the health of the plants.

What is farmyard manure or FYM

Farmyard manure or FYM improves the soil structure and is used as a natural fertilizer in farming. FYM increases the soil capacity to hold more water and nutrients. It increases the microbial activity of the soil to improve its mineral supply and also the plant nutrients.

It is a mixture of cattle dung, urine, litter or bedding material, a portion of fodder not consumed by cattle and domestic wastes such as ashes, etc. collected and dumped into a pit or a heap in the corner of the backyard. It is allowed to remain there and rot until it is taken out and use to fields. Well rotten Farm Yard Manure or FYM contains O.5. % N., 0.2 % P2 O5 and 0.5 % K2 O.

FYM is a decomposed mixture of Cattle dung, and urine with straw and litter used as bedding material and residues from the fodder fed to the cattle. Farm manure is a valuable soil improver that enhances and restores a variety of natural properties of the soil.

Some of the benefits of Farm Yard Manure will be given below;

  • Increases soil fertility
  • A natural source of available nitrogen
  • Adds humus and nutrients to the soil
  • Aids water and nutrient retention
  • Helps break down heavy soils
  • Adds structure to light and sandy soils
  • Attracts worms to the soil
  • Ideal for mulching

Disadvantages of manure

  • The method of adding manures is known as manuring. Manuring must be done at regular intervals, otherwise, the plants become weak. However, the use of manure has several drawbacks too. They can be rather difficult to transport and not nutrient specific.
  • Fresh manure has microbes in it that can be dangerous. It must be incorporated into the soil when it is aged or composted. Do not apply fresh manure to edible crops that will soon be harvested or store manure next to generate storage or handling areas.
  • Manures are bulky with low nutrition content.
  • Manures are inconvenient to handle, store and transport.

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What are Fertilizers?

Fertilizers are chemical substances supplied to the crops to increase their productivity and these are used by the farmers daily to increase the crop yield. The fertilizers have the essential nutrients required by the plants including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. They enhance the water retention capacity of the soil and increase its fertility.

Fertilizers are economically beneficial to farmers. They expedite plant growth and are not expensive to procure. The plants also have a superior appearance that means they appear greener and healthier when we use fertilizers.

However, fertilizers can harm the environment. They have synthetic chemicals that are not biodegradable. They can cause both soil and water pollution. Over time fertilizers make the soil acidic causing soil degradation. So, by comparing manure and fertilizers, fertilizers are a better source of nutrients for the plant, manure is a better alternative as far as the environment is concerned.

Impact of fertilizers

Fertilizers play a very important role in the development of crops by providing the required nutrients. They may improve the quality of crops. Fertilizers help improve yield, which is one of the most crucial requirements for bridging the gap between an ever-increasing human population and limited arable land.

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Types of Fertilizers

Different types of fertilizers are mentioned below;

Inorganic Fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers are chemical fertilizers that have nutrient elements for the growth of crops made by chemical means. The inorganic fertilizers are of the following types;

Nitrogen Fertilizers – Nitrogen fertilizers contain nitrogen essential for the development of crops. Nitrogen is the major constituent of chlorophyll that maintains a balance in the process of photosynthesis. It is a part of amino acids in plants and constitutes protein. Nitrogen fertilizers develop the production and quality of agricultural products.

Phosphorus Fertilizer – The major nutrient in a phosphorus fertilizer is phosphorus. The efficiency of fertilizer depends upon efficient phosphorus content, methods of fertilizing, properties of soil and crop strains. Phosphorus found in the protoplasm of the cell plays a very important role in cell growth and proliferation. The phosphorus fertilizer is useful for the growth of the roots of the plants.

Potassium Fertilizer – Potassium fertilizers work well in sandy soil to develop the quality of plants and vegetables by increasing the potassium content in inadequate fields.

The two main varieties of potassium fertilizer are;

1) Sulfate of potash and

2) Muriate of potash.

Sulfate of potash is made by treating potassium chloride with magnesium sulfate to generate a fertilizer that can be used to enrich garden soil any time up to sowing.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are natural fertilizers these are obtained from plants and animals. It enriches the soil with carbonic compounds essential for plant growth. Organic fertilizers increase the organic matter content of the soil, promotes the reproduction of microorganisms, and changes the physical and chemical properties of the soil. It is considered to be one of the main nutrients for green food.

Manure and Fertilizer as Potential Environmental Contaminants

Improper manure and fertilizer management can affect soil quality in the following ways;

Livestock manure can be a rich source of soluble ions that are sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) because animals retain a very small amount of the salt they consume. Repeat applications of manure at rates exceeding agronomic conditions can contribute to saline soil conditions. The long-term buildup of Na can harm soil structure by reducing soil particle aggregation.

Frequent traveling by loaded application equipment on wet soils could lead to soil compaction. Soil particles are squeezed together by compaction, reducing pore spaces obtainable for air and water storage. This can inhibit root growth and raise surface runoff.

Differences between Manure and Fertilizer

The difference between manure and fertilizer can be given below;

  • Manure can be described as an organic material prepared by decomposition of crop residue or animal excreta, which can be added to the soil to improve its fertility. Unlike, fertilizer is described as any substance (organic or inorganic), that is added to the soil, therefore, increase the yield of crops.
  • As manure is generated out of the decayed plant and animal waste, it gives humus to the soil, which increases the water-holding capacity of the soil. Unlike, fertilizer does not give humus to the soil.
  • The manure is mainly prepared in the field, by dumping the animal and plant waste in open pits, to decompose it. Conversely, fertilizers are formed in factories through the chemical procedure.
  • Manure is not as rich as fertilizers in terms of plant nutrients, as fertilizers are rich in plant nutrients.
  • As manure is insoluble in water and it is slowly absorbed by the soil. On the other hand, fertilizers obtain easily dissolved in water, and that is why it is used by the plants immediately.
  • Manure is economical, as it can be prepared by farmers themselves, fertilizers are industrially manufactured chemical; it is costly.
  • Manure does not cause any harm to the soil; actually, it raises the quality of the soil in the long run. In contrast, the use of fertilizer in excess can decrease the effectiveness of the soil, and it causes harm to the organism present in the soil.

Conclusion: Hope this content of Difference Between Manure and Fertilizers will help you to manage your crop and garden plants.

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