Manure is organic matter that is used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Most manures consist of animal feces; other sources include compost and green manure. They contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, that are utilized by bacteria, fungi, and other organisms in the soil.
Manures can be obtained from various sources. The different sources of manures are mentioned below:
- Cattle dung, urine, and other animal wastes.
- Wastes from human habitation such as human urine, night soil, sludge, sewage, domestic waste.
- Droppings of goat and sheep.
- The wastage from the slaughterhouses such as bones, meat, horn and hoof meal, fish waste.
- Crop wastes, Weeds, and water hyacinth.
Types of Manures
Following are the different types of manures used by the farmers:
- Animal Manures: These consist of feces. Common forms of animal manure include farmyard manure or farm slurry. Animal manures from different animals have different qualities and require different application rates when used as fertilizer. Ex: Horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and bats all have different properties. For instance, sheep manures are high in nitrogen and potash, while pig manure is relatively low in both.
- Green Manures: They increase the percentage of organic matter in the soil. The roots of such manures go deep into the soil. These help in the suppression of weeds and the prevention of soil erosion.
- Farmyard Manure: Farmyard manure improves the soil structure and is used as a natural fertilizer in farming. It increases the soil capacity to hold more water and nutrients. It also increases the microbial activity of the soil to improve its mineral supply and also plant nutrients.
- Compost Manures: It improves the soil structure and water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil. Thus, it increases the nutrient value and thereby improves the health of the plants.
Advantages of Manure
- They are a good source of macronutrients.
- Improves soil fertility.
- Using these manures, Low cost to agriculture.
- Reduces soil erosion and leaching.
- Improves the physical properties of the soil and aerates the soil.
- Improves the water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
- It can be transported easily.
- The crops grown on the land treated with manure produces healthy crops.