Sir Albert Howard—considered by many as the father of sustainable agriculture in the West—wrote in An Agricultural Testament: "I regarded these (Indian) peasants as my professors. I learnt from them how to grow healthy crops without the slightest help from artificial manures or insecticides."
The success of organic farming depends on soil fertility and regular monitoring of soils and crop growth.It is advisable to shift gradually from normal cropping practices to organic farming where the soil productivity is poor and procurement of organic manure is difficult.Above all the poor farmers do not have to depend on the high cost of external inputs.
Technological details/ manufacturing methodologies of :
5. Biofertilizers (Azospirillum,Phospobacterium, Rhizobium)
6. Azola & Blue green Algae
7. IPM- techniques-(like Neem leaves/seed/oil/cake based)
8. Agri.wastes (coir- pith & Bagassi) based bio-fertilizers
9. Green manures (shrubs/plants based)
10. Green manures(tree based)
11. All herbal leaves extractions– plant protective palliatives
12. Natural Growth Promotors/Nutrients
13. Value ADDED Organic Vegetable-Market Channels
An organic solution constituted by adding with – parts of cow’s fresh milk, -- parts of cow milks curd, --parts of cow milk’s ghee, -- parts of cows fresh urine , and -- parts of cow’s fresh dung.So all the five excretory products/bi-products of cow is called Panchakavya.
2.Amrithakaraisal (Tamil-meaning ‘Amrit’ solution )
Take a plastic vessel of 50 litres capacity . Place 10 kgs of cow dung(as far as possible fresh). Add 10 litres of cow’s urine and 1kg of Jaggery (palm jaggery for better results) .Stir with hand all these constituents until the solution becomes uniformly dissolved. Keep to settle down for 24 hours and then it can be used for the required purposes like seed treatment , fertigation etc.
Agricultural and other organic waste materials decompose and become good compost. It is prepared by digging a shallow pit of 75-90 cm depth and 1.0 meter width and then spreading the wastes in the pit as and when generated. The material gets decomposed over 4-6 months .This process is slow and the output material also very small although it is he age old practice of obtaining natural organic manure.
A modified method of fast compost making is called NADEP. Using an aerated tank of 3.66 m x 1.5 m x 0.90 m constructed with brick or any other material .An improvised tank using Bamboo and palm leaves is cost effective. The ground should be compacted with mud and dung to reduce seepage. This tank can accommodate 1350 kg agricultural waste ,90 kg cow dung ,1675 kg fine soil and 1350 litres of water. All these materials are to be kept ready before filling up tank which is to be completed within 1-2 days. First layer of agricultural waste , second layer of water and dung mixture and third layer of sand This can be repeated several times as long as materials last say in 12-14 layers. The top of tank then should be covered with 7.5 cm thick layer of clay soil mixed with dung. Any cracks that developed in due course can be sealed with mud paste. The top of the tank should be protected from sunlight and heavy rains by covering with organic mulch or by erecting a shed. This tank will produce 2.5 tons of fine compost in 3-4 months .
5. Vermicompost and Vermiculture:Vermiculture Demo Page
“Culturing of earthworms and their application for a variety of purposes is what is meant by Vermi composting by vermi culture”.
Darwin writes: "Worms prepare the ground in an excellent manner for the growth of... plants and for seedlings of all kinds. They periodically expose the mould to the air... They mingle the whole intimately together, like a gardener who prepares fine soil for his choicest plants. In this state it is well fitted to retain moisture and to absorb all soluble substances, as well as for the process of nitrification....The leaves which are dragged into the burrows as food ... partially digested, and saturated ... are commingled with much earth. This earth forms the dark coloured, rich humus"
Initially published for specialists, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms has gained popular appeal due it"s emphasis on the significance that the cumulative effect of seemingly small things have over time.
a) Selection of species:
The epigeic species have been fouynd to be useful for compost making and the most commonly used species are ‘Eisenia foetida’ Perionyx excavatus’ and ‘’Eudrillius eugiene’.These sprcies are fast breeders and feed actively on organic matter high in nitrogen!
b) Base materials required:
Crop residues ,tree leaves and animal dung are the the basic materials required.
Agricultural wastes like sugarcane trash,weeds hedge cuttings ,saw dust, coir waste,paddy husk, cattle dung, effluent slurry, from bio-gas plant, excreta of sheep, horse , pig, poultry droppings (in small quantity) and vegetable wastes are ideal food for earth worms. City garbage or even biodegradable organic sludge, a waste product from ETP of any industry can also be used for feeding worms.
c) Containers for culturing:
Earth worm culturing should be done under shelter to avoid direct sunlight and heavy downpour . Either brick lined pits , plastic tubs, wooden boxes ,earthen pots or even on surface of soil by making heap of organic matter ,culturing can be done.Size of container should be 1 m x 1 m x 0.3 m .In case of pit or heap method dimensions may be changed to convenience , however ,depth of pit or height of heap should not be more than 45 cms.
d) Preparation of bed :
Step by step method of preparation of wormiculture bed has to be followed for good results.
First step: Select a container or dig a pit of appropriate dimensions as mentioned above wherever compost is to be prepared.
Second step: Make a bed of 10 cm height using any of the base materials (coir waste, paddy husk, sugar cane trash etc>)collected. Give a layer of soil on it. Sprinkle water on it to get a moisture level of 40-45%.The bed should appear wet.
Third step: Mix the organic waste with cattle dung in equal quantity and pour appropriate quantity of water over it so as to make a homogenous mixture. Effluent slurry from bio-gas plant is best used for this .
Keep this mixture for two weeks. During this period heating of substrate will take place. Give turning to the material 2-3 times at 4-5 days interval and transfer it on the layer of bedding prepared earlier.
Fourth step: Introduce cocoons or worms (if culturing is done for the first time , it is advisable to introduce worms) in the bed at the rate of 2000 worms for 400 kgs of feed mix. as prepared in third step. Then the feed mix is to be spread uniformly on the culture bed .Add 5-10 % neem cake in the feed mix. Neem cake in small quantities has beneficial effect on the growth of worms.
Fifth step: Cover the bed with Gunny cloth .Sprinkle water over the cloth periodically to keep gunny cloth wet. The worms feed actively on organic matter and assimilate only 5-10 % and rest isexcreated as loose granular mounds of vermicastings on the surface away from the feed source ,Thus the worms will convert the feed mix into vermicastings in 60 days . The vermin compost once formed completely will give the smell of moist soil.
Sixth step: Take out the vermi compost and make a heap in sunlight on a plastic sheet . Keep for 1-2 hours .The worms will gather at the bottom of heap. Remove vermin compost on top and the worms settled down at the bottom can be carefully collected for use in the next batch of vermi composting.
e)Precautions for compost making :
1. Moisture level in the bed should not exceed 40-50%.Water logging in the bed leads to anaerobic condition and change in pH of medium.This hampers normal activities of worms leading to weight loss and decline in worm biomass and population .
2. Temperature of bed should be within the range of 20-30 degree centigrade.
3. Worms should not be injured during handling .
4. Bed should be protected from predators like red ants, white ants, centipedes and others like toads,rats, cats , poultry birds and even dogs.
5. Frequent observation of culture bed is essential as acumaulationd of casts retards growth of worms.
6. Space is the criterion for grow th and estblishment of culture .Minimum space required is 2 square meter per 2000 worms with 30-45 cm thick bed.
7. Earth worms find it difficult to adopt themselves in new environments hence addition of inoculam as a bait from earlier habitat helps in early adaptation to new site of rearing.
Best composting tips:
1.Mixture 0f cattle ,sheep, and horse dung with vegetable wastes forms ideal feed for worms.
2.Addition of neem cake in small quantity enhances growth of worms.
3. Biogas slurry aged aerobically for 15 days enhances vermi composting process.
6.Green manures (shrubs/plants based):
Green manuring is another age old practice for producing organic matter in the field itself. This can be done by sowing seeds of sunhemp, Daincha, (in Tamil-Avuri, Kolunghi), horse gram (In Tamil-Kollu) or beans and turning in the soil at 8-10 weeks of age .The type of crops depend on the soil type ,moisture avaialability season and cost of seed.
7.Green manures (tree based):
The other method of green manuring is to grow shrubs and trees on field bunds or in other areas top branches from time to time for green manure. Such branches can also be used as ‘mulch’ particularly in fruit orchards .The mulch conserves soil moisture in initial stages and consequently turns into organic manure. When the volume of dried leaves (litter) is high, such material can be used directly in orchards as mulch instead of being used as manure.
8.Biofertilizers (Azospirillum,Phospobacterium, Rhizobium/Azotobacter):
Use of biofertilizers carrying RHIZOBIUM and AZOTOBACTER for crop production is in practice since a long time .Since these micro-organisms fix atmospheric nitrogen and supply to plants ,these biofertilizers can substitute chemical fertilizers to some extent.While these bio-fertilizers help farmers to improve crop production ,also help reduce cost of cultivation.
9.Azola & Blue green Algae:
Blue –Green Algae, in symbiotic association with water fern belonging to Azolla species, fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil . Nostoc and Anabaena are the two popular species of blue green algae. It can contribute over 100 kg of nitrogen per hectare per crop like paddy under low land conditions .Hence Algae is an excellent association to supply nitrogen in low lying areas.
10.PHOSPHATE SOLUBILISING micro-organisms(PSM):
Soils containing high pH pose a problem of phosphorus availability for plants. For reversing this situation ,phosphate sollubilising micro-organisms (PSM) can be useful,A group of heterotrophic microorganisms capable of solubilishing inorganic P from insoluble sources .These include the bacteria(Bacillus megaterium,B.circulans,B.subtilis ,Pseudomonas straita,P.rathonis)Fungi(Aspergilluus awamori,Pennicillium digitatum,Trichoderma sp.) and Yeast(Schwannimyces occidentalis) .
These microorganisms weather rock phosphate and tricalcium phosphate by decreasing the particle size ,reducing it to nearly an amorphous form.In addition to P-solubilisation, these microorganisms can mineralize organic P into a soluble form.
The P- solubilizers also produce fungicides and growth –promoting substance which influence plant growth. The performance of these micro-organisms is affected bv availability of a carbon source , P concentration , particle size of rock phosphate and other factors like temperature and moisture .PSM will be a boon for the farmers whose land and soil Ph is high.
11.VESICULAR –ARBUSCULAR Mycorrhizae(VAM):
Symbiotic association between plant roots and fungi mycelia is termed as mycorrhiza .These fungi are found to be associated with majority of the crops. VAM is a broad ecologicalrange-aquatic to desert environment.VAM is associated with increased plant growth and enhanced accumulation of plant nutrients , mainly P,Zn,Cu,and Sthrough greater soil exploration by mycorrhizal hyphae. It reduces the severity of diseases caused by soil pathogens.
Maximum root colonization and sporulation occur in low fertility soils. VAM inoculations increases yields . It is better to concentrate on crops normally grown in nursery beds where they can easily inoculated with selected strains and then transplanted.
12.PLANT PROTECTION (IPM) :
Application of eco-friendly organic farming technologies for planr protection.
1.BIOPESTICIDES:Spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis , a pathogen capable of attacking several lepedopteran insects has been successfully adopted in many countries to control pests on many crops. Such bio pesticides are developed by culturing the pathogens found in the insect species. With environmental restrictions on chemical pesticides ,these alternatives are gaining popularity.
Breeding of sterile insects is another technique for pest control.
Many botanicals have the properties to control pests and diseases of plants. Extracts of neem, pongamia ,custard apple and callophylum (undai) seeds can control a wide range of insects, bacteria ,fungi and virus. These pesticides are not only eco-friendly but economical too. Farmers can easily prepare their own pesticides from these seeds.
OTHER PLANTS IN PEST CONTROL
Ginger, Garlic and Chilli Extract
This recipe is a mixture of 3 plant extracts. 1 kg of Garlic should be immersed in 100 ml kerosene and kept overnight. Next day, the outer skin should be removed and made into a paste. In another vessel, ½ kg chilly should be mixed with 50 ml water and made into a paste. Likewise ½ kg of ginger should be made into a paste. All the three mixtures should be mixed together with 100 litres of water and 50 grams soap solution as emulsifier. This mixture should be stirred well and filtered before spraying. The above quantity is needed for an acre. Allicin present in garlic serves as a repellent and capcicin in chilli serves as a pesticide.
1 kg of rice and 50 gms of turmeric powder is required to treat an acre. The rice is cooked and excess water is filtered. This is mixed with turmeric powder. Small lumps of yellow coloured rice is taken in small vessels and placed in the main field at 8 to 10 places. This is kept during early morning and afternoon. This practice usually acts as a bait on the first day; then from the second day onwards, it starts attracting the birds. When the birds feed on the rice, they feed on the semilooper larvae prevalent in the field. This procedure is repeated till the crop attains the flowering stage thereby reducing the pest attack.
Tobacco and Chilli Extract
Take the remains left after harvesting tobacco leaves and pound it into powder. Mix 2 kg chilli powder with 3 - 4 kg tobacco powder and add 5 kg of sand to it. Dust it over the plants early morning. The above quantity is recommended for an acre.
Tobacco with Other Plant Extracts in Cow's Urine
Take ½ kg garlic, ¼ kg chilli and ¼ kg of ginger. Grind all these ingredients into a paste with considerable quantity of water. Take 250 ml neem oil, 250 ml tobacco extract and 100 ml asafoetida extract. Dissolve the extracts of garlic, chilli, ginger, neem, tobacco, asafoetida in 72 hours old cow's urine (5 - 6 litres) and dilute with 50 - 60 litres of water. Before spraying, add an emulsifier at the rate of 4 ml per litre. This quantity is recommended for an acre.
Pongam, Aloe and Neem Extract
1 kg of pounded Pongam cake, 1 kg of pounded Neem cake and 250 gms of pounded Poisonnut tree seed are taken in a muslin pouch. This is soaked overnight in water. In the morning the pouch is squeezed and the extract is taken out. This is mixed with ½ litre of Aloe vera leaf juice. To this 15 litres of cow's urine. Before spraying 1 litre of this mixture is diluted with 10 litres of water. For an acre 60 - 100 litres of spray is used.
Vitex, Pongam, Castor and Calatropis Extract
Take 7 kg each of Vitex, Pongam, Castor leaves and 4 kg of calatropis leaves. Grind the above ingredients into powder. Mix it with 20 litres of water and boil it for half-an hour. Keep it overnight and filter the extract the next day. Dilute the filterate with 100 litres of water and spray it over the crops.
Seed Treatment with Rhizome Powder and Cow's Urine
Boil 10 litres of water and cool it the previous day itself. Next morning, add 4 litres of Cow's urine and 200 gms of rhizome powder to the cooled water. Stir it well. Then add seeds which are to be sown to this solution and mix it well. Remove the damaged seeds which float on the surface of the solution. Allow the remaining seeds in the same solution for 15 minutes. Filter the solution and separate the seeds. This seeds can be sown directly in the field. This gives protection and resistance against pathogen and pests.
1 litre of cow's urine and 50 gms of rhizome powder is required for treating 1 kg of seed.
To control rats, pieces of papaya fruit are spread near the bunds of the field. Papaya has a chemical substance which cause tissue damage in the mouth of the rats feeding on it. For an acre, 3 fruits are required.
Courtesy : Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems.INDIA
Cow's Urine with Herbs
Collect the Herbs you have knowledge of which are used in Plant protection.Clean and put the Herbs in Cow's Urine for 24 hrs. Filter it next day and the solution can be diluted in water for spraying ( Ratio as per one's own personal trial & experience )
Urea is the major source of nitrogenous fertiliser used in Agriculture. It is estimated that out of the total quantity of urea applied to crops, about 50- 70% is lost in various forms, thereby reducing the availability of nitrogen to crops. There is an age old practice in India of blending neem cake with urea. Based on this principle is our Urea coating agent NEEM UCA, a concentrated easy to use formulation. When NEEM UCA IS coated on urea, it forms a fine coating and protects the loss of Nitrogen by denitrification ensuring regulated continuous availability of nitrogen for a longer period, as per the requirement of crops.
Mode of Action: When uncoated urea is applied to the soil, the urea (Amide) nitrogen is rapidly converted to ammoniacal nitrogen and subsequently to nitrite and nitrate forms. Nitrogen in these forms, besides being absorbed by plants, is also rapidly lost from the soil due to leaching, run off, volatilization and denitrification. When NEEM UCA coated urea is applied to soil, the neem triterpenes inhibit the activity of nitrifying bacteria resulting in delayed transformation of ammoniacal nitrogen into nitrite nitrogen. This ensures slow and continuous availability of nitrogen matching the requirements of crop plant during their life cycle.
Benefits: (1) Ready to use, economical and easy to apply. (2) Ensures slow and continuous availability of nitrogen to crops. (3) Reduces nitrogen loss from urea due to leaching and denitrification. (4) Protects crops from soil borne pests.
Method of Application: (1) Spread 50 Kg urea in the shade on a clean surface. (2) Mix evenly 250 gm NEEM UCA ensuring proper spreading on urea. (3) Rub urea NEEM UCA thoroughly by hand to get a uniform coating. For larger quantities of urea, suitable mixers can be used. (4) Allow coated urea to dry till it is free flowing and ready to use.
Anyone knowing more uses of Herbs used for Plant Protection, Plant growth,etc.may kindly post them in our guest book. We shall consider it for inserting the same here for benefit of Farmers round the world .
“Help propagate organic farming across the globe”