Farmyard Manure Preparation Methods, Advantages

Introduction: Hello farmers today we are here with a great information of how to make farmyard manure and farmyard manure preparation methods, advantgaes of farmyard manure and uses of farmyard manure. What is farmyard manure (FYM)? Well, farmyard manure is one of the oldest manure used by the farmers in growing different crops because of its easy availability and presence of all the nutrients required by the plants. FYM refers to the decomposed mixture of dung and urine of farm animals along with their litter and fodder fed to the cattle. FYM is one of the components of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) as it a cheap and easily available source of organic nutrients. What are we waiting for? Let’s get into the details of farmyard manure preparation methods.

A step by step guide to Farmyard Manure Preparation

Integrating Farmyard Manure with inorganic fertilizer, scientists are getting a very good response to the crop. The application of this source of organic improves the physical, chemical and biological condition of the soils. FYM can supply all the nutrients required by the plant and it is prepared by using cow dung, cow urine, waste straw, and other dairy wastes.

Properties of Farmyard Manure

FYM is highly useful and some of the properties of FYM can be given below;

FYM has a high proportion of organic material which nurtures soil organisms and is essential in maintaining an active soil life and it is rich in nutrients. A small portion of the nitrogen is directly obtainable to the plants while a larger portion is made available as and when the Farmyard Manure decomposes. When cow dung and urine are mixed, balanced nutrition is made obtainable to the plants. The availability of Potassium and Phosphorus from the Farmyard Manure is similar to that from inorganic sources.

Properties of Farmyard Manure.
Properties of Farmyard Manure.

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Farmyard Manure is partially composed of using dung, urine, bedding, and straw. Dung comes generally as undigested material and the urine from the digested material. More than 50 percent of the organic matter that is present in dung is in the form of complex products containing lignin and protein which are resistant to further decomposition and therefore the nutrients present in dung are released slowly. The nutrients from urine become readily obtainable. Dung contains 50 percent of the nitrogen, 15 percent of potash and almost all of the phosphorus that is excreted by animals. Sawdust or other bedding materials are mainly used in cattle sheds to reduce the loss of urine and to increase the bulk of manure.

On average, 3 – 5 kg bedding material per animal issued by farmers. FYM contains approximately 5 to 6 kg nitrogen, 1.2 to 2.0 kg phosphorus and 5 to 6 kg potash per tonne. The quantity and quality of FYM mainly depend upon the type (draught, mulch) and age of the animals, the way they are feed and the care taken to collect and store the material. Though FYM is the common organic manure in India, the farmer, in general, do not give adequate attention to the proper conservation and efficient use of the resource.

Advantages of Farmyard Manure

Farmyard Manure is a valuable soil improver that enhances and restores a range of natural properties of the soil. Some of the advantages of FYM can be given below;

  • Increases soil fertility.
  • A natural source of available nitrogen.
  • FYM adds humus and slow-releasing nutrients to the soil.
  • Aids water and nutrient retention.
  • It helps break down heavy soils.
  • Adds structure to light and sandy soils.
  • Attracts worms to the soil.
  • Ideal for mulching.

Factors Affecting Nutritional Build up of FYM

The below factors affect the composition of FYM;

Age of animal – Growing animals and cows producing milk retain in their system nitrogen and phosphorus necessary for productive purposes like making growth and producing milk and the excreta do not have all the ingredients of plant food given in the feed. Old animals on the downgrade waste and their body tissues and excrete more than what they do ingest.

Feed – When the feed is rich in plant food ingredients, the excreta formed is correspondingly enriched.

Nature of Litter Used – Cereal straw and leguminous plant refuse used as litter enriched the manure with the nitrogen.

Ageing of Manure – The manure gets richer and less bulky with ageing.

How to make Farmyard Manure

In India, a major portion of cattle dung is used as fuel by farmers, after converted into dung cake. Urine is completely soaked into the earthen floor of the cattle shed, thus wasting a main portion of the cattle dung and urine.

How to Make Farmyard Manure.
How to Make Farmyard Manure.

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A better method of preparation of Farmyard Manure can be given below;

The manure pit must be about 0.9 meters deep, 1.8 to 2.4 meters wide and of any suitable length. The length of the manure pit must be about 5 meters if the farmer has 2 pairs of animals. The manure pit must be provided with a roof to protect the FYM from the hot sun and heavy rain. The mixture of cattle dung and urine-soaked litter must be directly taken to the manure pit and evenly spread uniformly at its bottom.

If necessary, water must be uniformly added to it. The daily collection of the mixture of cattle dung and urine-soaked litter is spread over the previous layer. And this is continuing till the manure heap rises about 30cms above the ground. It is then watered carefully and mud-plastered.

The Farmyard Manure is ready in about 6 months. In India, Farmyard Manure consists of (Percentages on the dry matter) about 0.32 percent nitrogen, 0.05 percent phosphorus (P), 0.25 percent potassium (K), 1.20 percent calcium (Ca) and 0.33 percent magnesium (Mg).

Methods of preparation of Farmyard Manure (FYM)

Here we discuss different methods of preparation of FYM;

  • Pit method
  • Trench method
  • heap method
Farmyard manure preparation with Pit method

For preparing better quality FYM, the use of pit technique for areas with less than 1000 mm precipitation and heap method for other places is recommended. In the pit method of FYM, the cattle shed wastes are conserved in pits of 2 m wide, 1 m deep and of convenient length with a sloping bottom towards one end. In the pit an absorbent layer is formed at the bottom by spreading straw at the rate of 3 – 5 kg per animal kept. The substrate containing well-mixed dung, urine and straw are spread over the absorbent layer daily to form a layer of 30 cm thick and the procedure continued until the pit is filled. Each day’s layer must be pressed, moistened if dry and covered with a 3 – 5 cm layer of well ground fertile soil to hasten the decomposition and to absorb the ammonia. The pit must be prepared on a high lying area to avoid the entry of rainwater.

FYM can be used directly in its natural form without any restrictions. There must be no contamination. The composting pits must be free from inorganic material, which is not generic to the manure like plastics, metals and dry cells. Care must be taken to avoid any contamination from heavy metals and plastics. Source of heavy metals is mainly from municipal wastes, industrial wastes or subsoils.

For example, Arsenic contamination can occur from the sub-soil water where there is too much groundwater withdrawal. Periodic checks have to be done to ascertain the occurrence of contaminants through water sampling. This process is commercially adopted by farmers usually pits of 8m x 2m x 1m dimensions are prepared, which are filled in layers by the mixture of dung, urine, and litter up to 50 cm above ground level. The top is nicely filled, then pits are covered by dry soil and then plastered by mud paste. One pit is required every after two adult animals, the manure became ready after about 150 to 180 days of plastering. Usually, 10 to12 tonnes of FYM obtained/pit or every animal gives out about 5 to 6 tones of FYM /year.

To prepare good quality FYM, it must be prepared in the pit. FYM must be prepared in fixed dimension pits. In pits, the FYM gets rotten in a good way and its dosage element is handled. The right method to make FYM properly is this way.

Gathering of animals excreta

The important thing is to gather animal excreta without losing its urine. Then straw, waste fodder or remains of the crop is spread under the animals so that urine gets absorbed in it. Paddy straw is suitable for this. 1 kg straw will absorb about 1.5 kg urine. By absorbing urine in straw, the proportion of carbon and nitrogen gets reduced and because of this reason, the straw gets rotten earlier. If there is a solid floor under the animal, then 50% of urine can be gathered, which can be added on Farm waste with the help of buckets.

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Pit digging

The dimensions of the pit will depend upon the number of animals and the number of excreta. Mainly for 3 to 5 animal excreta, 6-7 m long, 1-1.5 m wide and 3 feet deep pit is enough. The depth of pit from one side must be 3 feet and from another side, it should be 3.5 feet. Dug the pit at a place where rainwater cannot get gathered. Ridges must be made around the pit.

Pit filling

Starts filling the pit with a low deep side and fill it up to 1.5 feet high from the ground and then make 1.5 to 2-inch thick soil layer above it. By doing this, the seeds of the farm waste will be degraded and the dosage elements will be saved from the sunlight.

Number of pits

Every farmer should have at least 2-3 pits so that the first pit gets covered after adding soil and then the second pit should start filling. During this time, the FYM of the first pit will be ready to be added in the field, which will again obtain free after using manure.

Farmyard manure preparation with Trench method

The trench method is also called a Dr.C.N.Acharya method. In this process trenches of 6 to 8 m length, 1.5 to 2 m width, and 1 to 1.25 m depth are prepared. A section of the trench from one end must be taken up for filling with the daily collection. When the section is filled up to a height of 50 cm above the ground level, the top of the heap is made into a dome and plastered with cow dung earth slurry.

A mixture of dung and urine-soaked litter is deposited in layers in these trenches until it will become 50 cm above the ground layer. Now it is covered with 50 cm deep soil or wood ash- soil layer and next plastered by mud paste. Then the procedure is continued and when the first trench is filled, the second trench is prepared. The manure becomes ready for use in about 4 to 5 months after plastering. Manure becomes ready for use after about 150 to 160 days of plastering.

Farmyard manure preparation with Heap method

In the heap method, the daily collections from cattle shed are spread in uniform layers until the heap attains a maximum height of 1 meter above the ground. The top of the heap is rounded and then plastered with dung and mud mixture. In both, the pit method and heap methods aeration is allowed in the beginning and later on anaerobic conditions set in and continue for a long period. The manure is ready for use after 5 to 6 months. These methods must be initiated before the rainy season and continued throughout the year. If properly preserved, the quantity of manure that can be produced per animal per year would be as much as 4 to 5 tonnes containing 0.5 percent nitrogen. This is in contrast to 1 or 2 tonnes per animal per year containing 0.5 percent nitrogen, which is obtained by the indigenous method. The materials must not contain any heavy metal.

This method is most commonly used by farmers. Every day sweepings, cow dung, and litter are carefully collected and heaped at any fixed place. After 6 to 9 months, the rotten manure is used. According to an estimate, about 30 to 35% N2, 20 to 25% P2O5 and 4-6% potassium are lost during preparation of manure due to leaching, washing, and volatilization.

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Improved Farmyard manure preparation through sunlight, rain and runoff protection

Farmyard Manure is the most common form of organic fertilizer applied to crops. Farmyard Manure has a high proportion of organic material which nurtures soil organisms and is necessary for maintaining an active soil life. Typically, about half of the nutrient content of farmyard manure becomes available for crop growth during the first year after it is applied to the soil. The rest of the nutrients are channeled through soil biotic processes and then released. The high organic matter content and more active soil life improve or maintain a friable soil structure. And also increase the cation exchange capacity, and infiltration rate, and reducing the risk of soil pests. Traditionally, farmers take the manure out of their sheds to dry it for 2 to 3 days and then carry it to the field where it is left in very small heaps for several days before being spread and incorporated into the soil.

Application of Farmyard Manure

Application of Farmyard Manure improves soil fertility. It has a spectacular beneficial effect on the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil.

FYM must be uniformly spread over the soil surface and mixed thoroughly. It must be applied 15-20 days before sowing or transplanting so that manure goes under the ammonification and nitrification process. The application of undecomposed manure must not be applied.

The soil must have sufficient moisture at the time of application so that proper microbial activity takes place. The usual rate of application ranges between 2 to 5 tones/ha for most of the crops. But it could show high as 50 to 100 tones/ha for vegetable, sugarcane, etc. For the best response, it should be well powdered and it should be sieved, especially for use in the nursery.

Application of Farmyard Manure (FYM) is known to keep soil productivity longer than inorganic fertilizers. FYM contains all the macro- and micronutrients required for plant growth, but its main effect is due to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Also, the maintenance of organic matter in the soil is important for improving the nutrient and structural status of soils. Apart from its nutritional role, Farmyard Manure controls the dynamics of all the macro- and micronutrients.

Uses of Farmyard Manure

Partially rotten Farmyard Manure should normally be applied 3 to 4 weeks before sowing the crops. This FYM will decompose in moist soil to improve the soil structure and release the nutrients contained in it, in the soluble form for growth of the crop.

If Farmyard Manure is applied too long before sowing the crop, the nutrients are lost by leaching by rainwater. Well-rotted Farmyard Manure must be thoroughly worked into the soil just before the crop is sown.

The application of Farm Yard Manure to young vegetable and fruit plants have given the best results. FYM contains a low amount of phosphorus, it must be used in conjunction with single super phosphate (Bone meal to acid soils) as a basal dose and nitrogenous fertilizers should be used as a top dressing.

Disadvantages of Farmyard Manure

  • Its decomposition releases harmful gases that polluted the atmosphere.
  • Reduces the availability of certain micronutrients.
  • FYM needs more cost/unit weight of nutrients during handling, storage, and application as compared to fertilizer.

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