Benefits from Poultry Manure: No Chicken Feed

TAMIL NADU, INDIA - Often, farmers do not realise that a soil with poor fertility and poor yield are directly linked.
calendar icon 22 October 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

“Except a few, there are many farmers in the country who do not show interest in testing their soil for micronutrient deficiencies.

In general, farmers apply micronutrients only when crops show deficiency symptoms, while micronutrient deficiencies decrease yields before symptoms appear,” says Professor D. Narahari, former Head, Poultry Science, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai.

“Based on several research works and surveys, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have stated that enriching the soils with micronutrients, by using organic fertilisers, not only impacts plant deficiencies, but also on humans and animals, through the food chain,” says Professor Narahari.

Even in the case of those who use chemical fertilizers and sprays, farmyard manure or vermi-compost forms the basic input for their fields before sowing and is a long-standing practice.

Though cattle compost manure is known to our farmers not many are familiar with poultry manure; because modern poultry farms have emerged in India just four decades back, though confined to a few pockets.

Most crops, especially paddy, sugar cane, plantation crops, floriculture and horticultural crops respond well to poultry manure, according to The Hindu.

However, it is not that advisable for leguminous crops. Crops absorb the nitrogen in poultry manure similar to urea.

So they need lower doses and proper irrigation.

According to Professor Narahari, for best results apply deep litter poultry manure at half to one third doses and cage manure at one third to one fourth doses of the cattle manure and water the crop immediately.

The poultry manure can be pelletized and packed in 5-25kg capacity bags, as in the case of developed countries, for use in home gardens and nurseries.

Farmers with farms close to poultry farms use poultry manure regularly for their crops, with good returns.

Poultry manure is a more concentrated source of crop nutrients, especially NPK and calcium. Being naturally organic, it does not need composting and can be applied directly to the fields from the farm.

“The fertilizer value of one tonne of dried cage poultry manure is equivalent to 100 kg urea, 150kg super phosphate, 50kg potash, 125kg calcium carbonate, 30 kg sulphur, 12 kg sodium chloride, 10kg magnesium sulphate, 5kg ferrous sulphate, 1kg manganese sulphate, zinc sulphate and other trace minerals each and is available at a cheaper rate than other market available inputs,” explains Professor Narahari.

At present India produces about 6.25 and 8.0 million tonnes of poultry manure, sufficient to fertilize about 3.56 million hectares of land annually, if properly utilized it can help save billions of foreign exchange, by replacing huge imports of chemical fertilizers.

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