Livestock waste recycling plays a role in environment improvement and harvest pollution prevention. It is proven that livestock waste in a large quantity can be made into cheap hydroponic fertilizer, in solid or liquid form, with high decomposed fertilizer value.
The traditional way of adding animal dung into mixes of manure, compost, or green fertilizers as a source of nutrients has been done for a long time by farmers in the tropical areas of Asia. Continuous practice of this method is proof enough that it’s been working well for quite some time. However, the rapid change in this economy regarding methods and techniques in the world of agriculture and animal husbandry begs for more research and information regarding the use of cattle dung in both departments on its nutritional value, economic benefits, and accessibility.
- Dry Manure
The use of dry manure is usually recommended because of its clean factor. Dry manure can also lessen the impact of elevated temperature during decomposition process that can cause nitrogen deficiency in your plants. In its making process, manure is mixed with dust and dried mud (4:3:3 ratio) to accelerate drying process. The mixture is then moved to an area that is protected from direct sunlight and covered until it’s ready and needed for use. Research shows that nitrogen level in various dry manures is as follows: cow 2.41%, bull 1.09%, pig 2.11%, and chicken 3.17%. Nitrogen level is unstable and it can change anytime.
- Liquid Manure
Liquid manure is also a good source of nutrients for plants. There are certain things you need to do to be able to produce good quality liquid manure from your cattle:
- The cattle shed’s floor must be made of cement, including the urine container. The size should be 3×3 m and 1.5 m deep. Weed and other water plants are then put into the container and let be for two weeks for fermentation process.
- Make some kind of filtering system to divide urine and solid waste using a net or something like it.
- Make another container from concrete or cement, 2×2 m and 1 m deep to mix the liquid manure with water to water it down before use.
- You can also install pipes from the container to your farming area.
- Managing Manure
Using cattle dung for manure mixed in with other waste is not easy because it gets spoiled fast. Proper storage away from direct sunlight and rainwater is important. Below are four common systems used in managing manure:
- Collect fresh manure every day and use them immediately.
- Store it in a hole away from direct sunlight with a cover and let it ferment before use.
- Liquid manure is stored in aerobic condition.
- Liquid manure is stored in anaerobic condition.
Superphosphate is used for higher quality manure, its advantages include:
- Pushing down nitrogen loss in ammoniac form.
- Elevating phosphate level in manure.
- Bonding with soil colloid for better crops.
- Benefits of Using Manure
If you have easy access to cattle dung, using manure is the most economically efficient solution for your farming needs. Manure is also generally better for soil structure than chemical fertilizers. Manure might have lower N, P, and K but it is a good source of essential micronutrients. Its contribution to soil structure betterment includes erosion, soil movement, and soil cracking prevention. Manure also stimulates bacteria and other biota’s growth in soil, making it a better choice for continuous and long term farming.
- Manure Toxicity
Generally, pig dung contains a lot of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and arsenic (As). Meanwhile, cow dung contains at least 1% of NaCl. Chicken manure, however, contains coccidiostat that can function as herbicides. If you use manure in incorrect dosage (too high), the chemical substance like coccidiostat most probably functions as allelopathy substance that can decelerate seed and seedling growth. Using too much manure can also cause air pollution in the form of extremely smelly air.
- Manure Usage
Manure is always applied or mixed in during land processing before seeding. Manure is spread evenly on soil surface and then ploughed. Manure can be mixed with chemical fertilizer during planting phase in between plants. Liquid manure is given by mixing it with water and use the mixture together to water your plants.
- Manure Dosage
Proper dosage for manure depends on the plant, the soil, the season, and the type of the manure.
- Manure and Soil Fertility
The value of manure is not only determined by how much nutrients it has, but also by how much nitrogen it supplies. Manure has good effect on physical and structural characteristics of soil. The use of manure combined with chemical fertilizers and agricultural calcium (chalk) can be the best combination for agricultural practices.
- Cattle Waste for Feeding
Cattle waste can in fact be used directly as cattle feed. Nutrients found in cattle waste has 3-10 times more benefits being used directly than being recycled through plants first. More than 70% of nitrogen that cattle eats can be found in their waste, along with 80% of potassium. Chicken waste has the highest nutrient level, followed by pig, and the lowest is cow.
- Managing Waste for Feeding
You have to make sure to not let cattle waste get too dry because the nutrient level in it will drop significantly. Smell and taste can be improved through fermentation. Small cattle waste can be made into high quality feeding source through silage process mixed with rice husks and rice straws with the ratio of 20% small cattle waste, 50% rice straws, and 30% rice husks.
Based on various researches, this silage process makes dairy cows produce more milk than dairy cows that eat corn. Technology has improved greatly and now we have the EM technology. Through EM technology, we can make bokashi using mixture of rice husks, chicken, and goat waste for chicken feed and rice husks and chicken waste for pig feed.
Chicken and Goat Waste Bokashi:
- Mix one part rice husks, one part chicken waste, and one part goat waste well.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of EM, and 1 liter of water.
- Water should be at 30%.
- Put the mixture into a sack and tie it up. Let it be for two days. You will then notice sweet smell and ammoniac smell coming from the mixture.
- It is now ready for chicken feed. This mixture expires after seven days.
- Cons of Cattle Waste for Feeding
A lot of consumers refuse to eat cattle that are fed with waste. Another serious problem is that sometimes cattle waste contains too much minerals that make it not fit for consumption. An example is the abundance of CuSO that is used for pig disinfectant. Other than that, a lot of factories simply refuse to process cattle waste.
- Cattle Waste for Compost
Composting is the oldest practice in agricultural world. However, the result of it is not as successful as we’ve wanted. The reason for that is mostly technical and institutional problems of compost production in big scale. Read more: Drip Hydroponic System.
Eko PW. 2006. Cara Membuat Pupuk Hidroponik. Jakarta. Dharma Utama Publishing.