Organic pesticide preparation from neem seed kernel extract
Organic farming is the preferred process for pest and disease control in agriculture. It is mainly considered to be non-toxic, has fewer input requirements, and greatly enhances the ecological balance while promoting biological diversity and protects the environment. Pests and diseases continuously pose as threats to agriculture causing considerable crop yield losses every year.
A guide to the preparation of neem seed kernel extraction for organic pesticide
One of the main approaches to addressing crop loss is the use of organic pesticides within the farming system. The step-by-step guide to organic pesticide preparation using neem-seed extract is given below;
Neem pesticides play a vital role in pest management and have been widely used in agriculture. There has been an evident shift all over the world from synthetic pesticides to non-synthetic ones and this is large because of the widespread awareness of the side effects of these synthetic pesticides not only on plants but also on other living organisms.
Process of neem seed kernel extract from neem seeds
Neem seed kernel extract is prepared from dried neem seeds. Neem trees bear fruits once a year and it is better to harvest the fruits rather than collect fallen ones – fallen fruit in contact with the soil can be infested with fungus. Make sure the neem fruits are yellow (not greenish-yellow or yellowish-green) before harvesting. Put a plastic sheet under the neem tree and beat the branches with a stick. Collect the fallen fruit from the plastic sheet. Throw away bad or moldy ones. Remove the pulp of the fruit by twisting the Neem fruit between thumb and index finger. The seeds must be milky white. Dry them upside down on a mat or sheet in the shade for 2 or 3 days. They must not be exposed to rain or direct sunlight. Store the seeds in well-aerated baskets or gunnysacks (not in plastic bags) they must be kept dry. The seeds used to make the kernel extract should be between 3 to 7 months old.
Things to be taken care;
- First, collect the fruits during the bearing season and air-dry them under shade.
- Do not use the seeds over 8 months of age. The seeds stored over and above this age lose their activity and hence not fit for neem seed kernel extract preparation.
- Always use freshly prepared neem seed kernel extract or NSKE.
- Spray the extract after 3.30 pm to get useful results.
Take 75gm of neem seeds and pound the seeds gently, just hard enough to break the seed coats. Then remove the seed coats and bad kernels. Pound the good kernels (make sure no oil comes out) into a fine powder and mix the powder into one liter of light soapy water (oily soap is better). Filter the solution before using it as a spray. The soap will help the powder stick onto the plant leaves. Be sure to cover the leaves completely with the spray-on top and underneath them. Apply once or twice a week.
Difference between a neem seed kernel extract and neem oil
The pure neem seed extract is a highly concentrated liquid that is mixed with water [two drops per one ounce of water] and applied to plants as a foliar spray once a week. It captures about 93% of the bioactive ingredients from the Neem trees. Whereas Neem oil is oil cold pressed from the seeds of the neem plant.
Preparing spray solution by using neem kernel extracts
Neem Kernel extracts about 500 to 2000 ml are required per tank (10 liters capacity). About 3-5 kg of neem kernel is required for an acre. Remove the outer seed coat and use the kernel. If the seeds are fresh, 3 kg of the kernel is sufficient and if the seeds are old, 5 kg is required.
Pound the kernel gently and then tie it loosely with a cotton cloth. Soak this overnight in a vessel containing about 10 liters of water. After this, it is filtered. On filtering, 6 to 7 liter of the extract can be obtained. 500 to 1000 ml of this extract should be diluted with 9 ½ or 9 liters of water. Before spraying khadi soap solution by 10 ml/liter should be added to help the extract stick well to the leaf surface. Then, this concentration of the extract can be increased or decreased depending on the intensity of the pest attack.
The neem seeds used for preparing the extract must be at least 3 months old and less than 8 months old. The final extract must be a milky white color. Neem seed kernel extract is an effective control process for a variety of leaf-eating insects.
Preparation of neem seed kernel extract
About 50 grams of neem kernel is required for use in 1 liter of water. The neem kernel is pounded gently and it must be pounded in such a way that no oil comes out. The outer coat is removed before pounding this is used as manure and if pounded with seed coat 1 ½ time (75 gr) seeds are required. The seeds that are used for the preparation of neem kernel extract must be at least 3 months old and should not be used after 8 to 10 months. Before 3 months or after 8 months, the azadirachtin quantity is quite low in the seed and it cannot efficiently be used for pest control. The pounded neem kernel powder is gathered in a muslin pouch and then this is soaked overnight in the water. The pouch is squeezed and the extract is filtered. To the filtrate, an emulsifier such as soap oil or soap cake powder is added. One ml of emulsifier is added to one liter of water and the emulsifier helps the extract to stick well to the leaf surface.
Prepare organic pesticides from neem seed kernel extracts
Pests are a constant threat to Agriculture and they cause substantial yield losses in the year. One of the effective methods of controlling the pests whiles protecting the environment is with the use of organic pesticides within the farming system. Some prefer organic pesticides as the method for pests control in Agriculture and this is because it uses non-toxic substances. They also greatly enhance the ecological balance, promote biological diversity, and protect the environment.
Organic pesticide preparation steps from a neem tree
The Neem tree is a tropical evergreen tree originally from India and now found throughout the tropics. The tree is fast-growing and tolerant to drought conditions. The neem tree is often planted as windbreaks and for shade in the villages and cities. In India, the neem tree is called “the village pharmacy” because of its healing versatility and has been used in medicine to cure several ailments by local communities.
Early literature makes mention of the neem fruit, seeds, leaves, roots, and bark for their medicinal properties and is reported to contain compounds with proven antiseptic, antiviral, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. In the preparation of organic pesticides from the neem tree, two major steps are involved. The first step mainly involves the collection of ripe seeds, drying, roasting, crushing, and pressing them to extract the neem oil. In the second step is the oil is then formulated into a pesticide by diluting it to the desired volume using water.
The Neem tree is a tropical evergreen tree and it is originally from India now found throughout Africa. The use of Neem is one of the effective ways to organically control the pests of crops. In this, we discuss how to prepare organic pesticides from neem seed extract.
Neem seed extracts are;
- The Neem Seed Kernel oil
- The Neem Seed Kernel solution
Materials for neem seed kernel solution
To prepare 100 liters of 5% neem seed extract solution, you need;
Neem seed kernels (well dried) – 5 kg
Water – 100 liters
Detergent – 200 g
Muslin cloth for filtering
- Take about 5kg of well-dried Neem seed kernel (Only the kernel).
- Grind the kernels into powder and then you soak the powder overnight in 10 liters of water.
- Stir with a wooden plank in the morning till the solution becomes milky white.
- Filter through a double layer of muslin cloth.
- Top up or dilute the volume to 100 liters.
- Add 1% detergent and mix little water to the detergent and make it into a paste. Then mix it in the solution and this will help stick to the surfaces of the leaves.
- Mix the solution well and spray on crops.
Pests controlled with neem extracts
Neem seed kernel extracts control many insect pests. These include stalk borers, beetle larvae, butterfly and moth caterpillars. Also, true bugs, plant and leaf-hoppers, adult beetles, mealy bugs, thrips, fruit flies, and scale insects, etc.
Advantages of neem organic pesticide
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Neem seed kernel extracts have many uses and advantages in organic farming. Besides the numerous uses and benefits associated with neem tree products which include its anti-fungal properties and pesticide properties, neem organic pesticide has the following advantages;
- The seeds are available in most places in the tropics.
- It is not difficult to prepare and less expensive.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- Less toxic to non-target (more environments friendly).
- Handling and application do not require high-level training.
- Required simple application equipment and techniques.
Precautions in using neem extracts/formulations
1.) Neem is almost non-toxic to mammals and is biodegradable and it is used in India as an ingredient in toothpaste, soap, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and cattle feed. The plant leaves are used for tea. Neem trees are very confused with the Persian lilac or chinaberry tree a relative of neem, which thrives in high altitudes, whereas neem thrives at low altitudes (up to 1200 m).
2.) Neem chemical structure is so complex (the tree has many different compounds, many functioning quite differently and on different parts of an insect’s life cycle and physiology), scientists believe it will take a long time for insects to develop resistance to it. To minimize the chance of affecting beneficial (natural enemies) and discouraging development of pest resistance, use neem sprays when necessary, and only on plants you know are affected by pests.
3.) Neem seed extracts do not kill insect pests immediately. They change the feeding behavior and life cycle of the pests until they are no longer able to live or reproduce. Effects are not visible before 10 days after application. Thus, severe pest attacks will not be controlled within time. For reliable and satisfying control, neem extracts should be applied at an early stage of the pest attack.
4.) Neem products break down fairly quickly, generally within 5 to 7 days in sunlight and the soil, so you could need to repeat the application during the growing season to deal with new pests that arrive from outside during this time.
5.) Neem works fastest during hot weather and heavy rains within a few days of application may wash off the protective cover of neem on plants. Reapply if pests are a problem.
6.) If crops have to be watered, water must be targeted to the soil because water running over the leaves of sprayed plants may wash off the neem water extract.
Properties of neem organic pesticide
The neem tree contains different insect-repelling compounds, which inhibit the maturation or feeding ability of insect pests without having any adverse effects on birds and mammals. These substances are known to have been used as insecticides in many parts of the world and have been reported to be successful in pest and disease control. The use of the neem tree materials for the control of several pests among the farming community.
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