Farmyard manure (fym) Full From In Agriculture


Farmyard manure is made from the decomposition of animal dung, urine and bedding materials used for livestock, normally in a well-mixed condition. It is removed from the pens or sheds at regular intervals and stacked, preferably under cover, until sufficiently decomposed for use as an organic fertiliser.

The amount of plant organic matter in the mixture will depend on the condition under which the animals are kept. Intensive systems of livestock management in which animals are enclosed in pens or yards produce manure with a relatively high content of litter or bedding; this is often rice or other forms of straw or grass. Where the urine is allowed to drain away to a collecting pit, this should be applied to the manure.

The composition of the manure obtained from animals varies widely, since different types of animal produce manure which results from the type of food they eat, their digestive processes, the age of the animals and the conditions in which they are kept, Composition of fym Fresh animal manurerelatively high in nitrogen, phosphate and potash, but the presence or absence of water in the manure can result in some variation in the mineral content.
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Cattle and horse manures are relatively high in fibre content and lower in plant nutrients than the manure of pigs. Goat and sheep manures are more rich in plant foods than those of most animals except poultry. In the dry season, the content of these three major compounds may be relatively high but some losses are likely to occur during the wet season, due to the draining away of soluble compounds.

Fresh manure should never be applied to crops, it should be stacked, preferably under cover, until it is well decomposed. Turning the heap, at intervals, will increase the rate of decomposition although this may also lead to a loss of nitrogen in the form of ammonia gas, Table gives the approximate contents of different types of animal manure, One important aspect of fym is that it contains a high level of organic material which is extremely valuable in improving the structure and general fertility of the soil to which it is applied. It is relatively long lasting due to the fibrous nature of many animal food.

The practice of sowing legumes and other crops, including grasses, which have a rapid rate of growth for ploughing or hoeing them into the soil before they have reached maturity is not widespread in West Africa, although it is followed in some tropical areas.

A very limited amount of experimental work has been carried out on this aspect of husbandry, and it would appear that most of the theories used to justify green manuring derive from results obtained in the subtropical and temperate areas.

The main effects of green manuring are considered to be a raising of the organic content of the soil and returning to the topsoil layers some of the minerals which may have been leached down to within the root zone of the green manure crop, as well as stimulating the activity of bacteria which feed on the plant remains.

Where legumes are used -as a green manure, nitrogenous materials are likely to be returned to the topsoil layers, providing that there has been adequate root nodule development before the crop is buried. The rate of bacterial activity in tropical soils, due to the high soil temperatures which normally exist, is likely to make the addition of immature crop residues to the soil a very temporary contribution to soil fertility.

Where mature leguminous cover crops are used as a green manure, the effect may be more lasting, it is also known that a definite gain in soil organic content and improvement in soil structure can be obtained by burying mature grasses such as elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) which have a fibrous and well-developed root system.

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