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Salient Features of Zero Budget Natural Farming


Posted 11-23-2009 at 10:11 AM by kishores Salient Features of Zero Budget Natural Farming The salient features of this method of farming are: 1) Zero Budget Farming In this system of farming no monetary investment on the part of farmer is required for purchase of seeds, fertilizers and plant protection chemicals from the market. The farmer can produce his own seed or he may use seeds that are available with other farmers. More importantly, there is absolutely no place for fertilizers and plant protection chemicals in this scheme of farming. Dependence on hired labour is also reduced to the bare minimum as the system discourages intercultural operations. The whole philosophy behind this system is to make the farmer selfreliant so that he is freed from the clutches of money lenders and market dispensed high cost inputs. 2) Seed Treatment with Beejamrutha Composition: a) Water 20 litres b) Desi cow dung 5 kg c) Desi cow urine 5 Litres d) One handful of soil from the surface of field e) Lime 50 grams The above mixture termed as Beejamnrutha can be used to treat seeds, seedlings or any planting material. The planting material has to be simply dipped in Beejamrutha taken out and planted. Beejamrutha protects the crop from harmful soil borne and seed borne pathogens during the initial stages of germination and establishment. 3) Treatment with Jeevamrutha Composition: 1) Water 200 litres

2) Desi cow dung 10 kg 3) Desi cow urine 5 to 10 litres 4) Jaggery 2 kg 5) Flour of any pulse 2 kg 6 Handful of soil from farm or forest The above mixture will suffice for one time application on one acre crop. Jeevamrutha is to be provided once in a fortnight or at least once in a month. It promotes immense biological activity in the soil and makes the nutrients available to the crop. Jeevamrutha is not to be considered as nutrient for the crop but only a catalytic agent to promote biological activity in the soil. 4) Mulching Mulching with organic residues or live mulching reduces tillage and consequently labour requirements, suppresses weeds, promotes humus formation and enhances the water holding capacity of the soil. Mulching enhances the biological activity and replenishes the nutrient base of the soil. Adequate mulching keeps the top and sub soil moist and enhances the water holding capacity of the soil and also reduces water loss due to evaporation so that the crop will be better equipped to tide over drought conditions. 5) Plant Protection In the event of outbreak of insects and diseases the farmer can himself prepare home made pesticides and use it on the crops. Fungicide-I a) Butter milk fermented for five days 5 litres b) Water 50 litres Fungicide II a) Desi cow milk 5 litres b) Black Pepper Powder 200 grams c) Water 200 litres Insecticide- I a) Powder of neem seed or Neem leaves 20 kg b) Water 200 litres Insecticide- II a) Cow dung 5 kg b) Cow urine 10 litres c) Neem leaves 10 kg d) Water 200 litres This mixture is particularly effective against aphids, jassids, mealy bugs and white flies. Insecticide III a) Neem leaves 10 kg b) Tobacco powder 3 kg c) Garlic paste 3 kg d) Green chillies paste 4 kg

The above ingredients should be soaked in cow urine for ten days. About 3 litres of this mixture can be mixed with 100 litres of water and sprayed on crops. The above mentioned fungicides and insecticides can be prepared by the farmer himself and used either as prophylactic or as curative measure for control of crop pests. If the economic injury to crops due to pests is less than five percent, it should be deemed to be return to nature and no plant protection measures should be taken.

Organic Seed Treatment


Written by: RohitRathore
CEREALS 1.Paddy: Paddy seeds are immersed in hot water for a day. Soaked seeds are keeped on the ground and covered with Neem leaves and small wheat straw for 4 days. After 4 days the seeds germinate are sowed in the nursery. 2.Wheat: To control wheat rust the seeds are immersed in milk before sowing Castor Pests: The castor seeds are soaked in whey before sowing to give resistance to diseases and animals from eating the crops. 3.Sorghum Seeds: Sorghum seeds are treated with the juice of neem leaves. Stray cattle remain away from growing sorghum. 4.Sorghum Seed: Seed of Sorghum are soaked in cow's urine to induce drought tolerance. Sometimes they are treated with salt solution to ensure better germination. 5.Paddy germination: Leaves of 'piludi' (Salvadora persica) or 'aval' ((Cassia spp.) are spread at the bottle of a closely knit basket. The basket is then filled with paddy seeds and about 10-12 litres of water is poured slowly over the seeds. It is then covered with leaves of the same tree or plant. Weights are put on the leaves and the basket kept undisturbed for 24 hours. A little water is sprinkled once or twice on the basked. This helps in early germination. 6.Cereals and Pulses: Seeds of cereals and pulses are immersed in water mixed with cattle urine and powder

of Acorus calamus. The seeds floating on the surface are thrown away. Dried healthy seeds are then used for sowing in drylands. This treatment develops drought resistance in seeds. 7.Paddy: A gunny bag filled with paddy seeds is kept immersed in a water trough for 12 hours. Then the seed bags is immersed in diluted biogas slurry for another 12 hours. This increases the resistance of seedlings to pests and diseases. 8.Maize: Seeds are soaked in cow urine for 12 hours before sowing. 9.Cereal seeds: Cereal seeds like wheat are treated with 'Kidamari' (Aristolachia bracteolata) leaf extract so as to effectively control termite and white grubs. 10.A mat of paddy straw is placed over a steel or bamboo basket of 30 to 40 cm diameter and two feet in height and well compacted below the container straw ropes are placed in a crisscross manner. About 15 kg of paddy seeds are placed in the basket. These are covered by straw and the straw ropes are tightly tied. The whole unit is then pulled out of the container and about 20 litres of water is sprinkled over the straw rope packed seeds and the 'kottani' left in a corner of the in shade for nearly 24 hrs. Next day the bundle or 'kottani' is carried to the field for sowing. The seeds are kept wet but excess water drains out. The straw ropes while allowing air circulation also keep the seeds warm. All this enhances sprouting.

VEGETABLES 1.Bottle Gourd: Farmers soak seed of bottle gourd in water for 24 hours berore sowing. 2.Bhindi (Okra) seeds are wrapped in a piece of cloth and put in water in the sun for a full day. The seeds are then kept inside a straw keep overnight and sown next day. 3.Cucumber and bean seeds are eaten by ants. To avoid these losses, seeds are dipped in kerosene and then sown. 4.Watermelon seeds: Watermelon seeds are soaked in Kumkum (vermilion) water for a day before sowing. They will germinate faster and grow into healthy plants. 5.Bitter gourd seeds: If soaked in milk for a day prior to sowing bitter gourd seeds will germinate faster and develop well. 6.Radish, Beetroot seeds: These seeds are tied in a piece of cloth and soaked overnight in water and are sown after sprinkling water on them repeatedly. Plants from these seeds are well developed and fast growing. 6.Radish, Beetroot seeds: These seeds are tied in a piece of cloth and soaked overnight in water and are sown after sprinkling water on them repeatedly. Plants from these seeds are well developed and fast growing. 7.Chilli: Seeds are immersed In biogas slurry for half an hour.

PULSES 1.Gram: Seeds of Gram (Cicer ariteum) Wheat and mustend soaked in water for a night before sowing. 2.Soybean seed germination in saline/alkaline lands: To increase germination seeds are treated with leaf

powder of 'Usil' (Albizia amara) at the rate of 150 g leaf powder for every kg of soyabean an adhesive for making leaf powder stick to the seeds. 3.Bean Seeds: Various varieties of bean seeds are soaked in milk for a day before planting resulting in healthy plants with good yield. 4.Wilting: Grams and Lentils seeds are treated with 1 gm heeng per kg of seeds. Alternatively 100 g of mustard oil are used to treat 40 kgs of seeds. Pulse seeds are soaked in butter milk at the rate of 40 kg of seeds in 5 litres butter milk for 24 hours before sowing.

FRUITS AND TREES 1.Babool: Seeds of Deshi babool (Acacia Arabica) grow well if seeds regurgitated by goats are grown. 2.Coconuts are place in standing water of open irrigation well. After about one month the sprouted nuts are transplanted in the field. 3.Teak Tree Seeds: The Teak (Tectona grandis) are wrapped in a piece of cloth and put inside a cow dung keep for a few day. This results in better germination. 4.Coconut seeds: These are soaked in water for 20 days prior to sowing. In Bangladesh they make raised beds of ash mixed with soil and put the coconut seeds in them. Water is sprinkled everyday on the bed. 5.For early germination of coconut, place the nuts with the upper side (embryo side) facing downward i.e. inverted and cover it with soil completely. After 13 days take the nuts out and replant them in the nursery in the reverse position, that is the lower side facing up. Care must be taken to maintain optimum moisture in the nursery. 6.Coconut Seed Selection: Save selects his coconut seed with great care. Only coconut from matured trees having the following characteristics are selected. It should have about 35-37 total leaves, out of which 25% should remain straight open towards the sky. 25% should remain at an angle of 135, 25% should remain parallel to the ground and remaining 25% should be parallel to the trunk of the tree. Tree should bear 300-350 nuts per year. 7.Banana: The suckers are kept in hot water for a few minutes before planting.

CASH CROPS 1.Cotton: Cotton seeds are soaked in water overnight before sowing. Soaked seeds are then treated with soil collected from termite burrows. 2.In Saurashtra, Farmers have now started growing whole groundnut pods instead of seeds. Normally separating the seeds from the pods takes a lot of labour. The whole pods are sowing in furrows, which are then covered by tight planting. The fields are tightly irrigated before rains. The seeds sprout well though they take 3 or 4 more days. These methods requires only 18-20 kg pods instead of 24-26 kgs (15-17 kgs of seeds/1.9 hectares). However, care should be taken to select healthy pods. 3.Sunflower seeds are soaked overnight in sour butter milk and then dried prior to sowing.

4.Cumin seeds give better germination if 250 gm of salt dissolved in litre of water is used for treating 10 kg of cumin seed. The treatment is also said to increase yield. 5.Cotton: Seeds are mixed with a solution containing cow dung slurry and diluted time before sowing. 6.Tikka disease on groundnut crop: 4 weeks old groundnut crop gets affected by reddish ash coloured spots and subsequent dead leaves. Chaudhary treats the seeds with a solution of 250 gms of asafetida mixed in 2 litres of water before sowing. The solution is enough for 20 kgs of sees. The seeds soaked for one hour and then dried in sunlight and then sowed.

GENERAL SEED TREATMENT: 1.Seeds soaked in water extract of sea weed germinate earlier. 2.1 Kg cow dung is mixed with 25 gms of cow ghee (Clarified butter) thoroughly for about half an hour. Add 50 gms honey and again mix thoroughly for half an hour. Then mix with 20 litres water. This prepares a mixture in which the seeds can be dipped for half an hour. Dried in shade and sown. Some farmers add litre cow milk, 1 litre cows urine and litre butter milk to the above mixture. Keep for a day and night in the open and then dip the seeds as well as transplanting plants in the mixture and row the seeds or transplant.

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ORGANIC FARMING - NEED OF THE PRESENT

Atharva Veda says, " What ever taken from the soil should be returned to it." This is the only "culture of farming" by which the loan taken from mother earth is repaid to some extent.

Soil is living medium which sustain crores of microbes, bacteria etc in it. Organic farming is not only the cultivation by organic methods but it establishes actual balance in between soil and the environment.

During green revolution use of chemical fertilizers was encouraged to a large extent. The unbalanced use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides resulted in heavy damage to natural eco systems by poisoning soil, water, air, and thereby all living beings.

Descending level of organic carbon in soil is decreasing the physical and chemical properties of soil. It is very essentials to know the principles of organic farming.

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All vegetables, crops, fruits etc are living bodies Agricultural operation like ploughing, sowing etc. are done near "Purnima" ( full noon night) m the "Karaka" of" Jal Tatwa"( moisture ) North to south in Rabi and East to West sowing in kharif season is beneficial. Do not waste biomass. It is very useful in making organic manure (compost) To increase carbon and protein in compost, add --10 kg saw dust of wood -for carbon. -12 kg saw dust of new wood - for protein. 10 kg hen excreta- for phosphorus. Biomass should be not wasted. Use plant leaves and other bio waste in making compost. Compost should be properly digested and used before sowing or planting For supplementation of phosphorus, 1.5 to 2 quintal Of Rock phosphate and 5 packets of PSM to be added to Nadep 60 days after sealing of Nadep. Parthenium spp. is balanced fertilizer itself as it contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus and potash in proper ratio. This can be used in Nadep also. Neem leaves have characteristic to fight with virus and the effect of which lasts 4-5 days. It is therefore used frequently. When Nadep compost is made for insect control also then 2 inches

layer of Neem or Karanj leaves are set after every layer. This compost prevents the crop from fungus. The care should be taken to use this once in 3 years because neem leaves cause sterility in other beneficial bacteria and viruses also.

Seed Treatment To save crop from drying up due to soil born diseases, any of following treatments can be adopted: y Butter milk of cow + 3 horse gram size of asafetida (hing). Crop seed should be immersed in foresaid mixture for 2 hours before sowing. This treatment should not be given to thin coated seeds Mix the seed with 250gram of neem oil and keep the same hours before sowing Seed treated with paste of 31 litre. Gomutra + 0.5kg cow dung of indigenous breed + 50 gram of garlic should be kept for 3 hours before sowing. Asafoctida can also be used instead of garlic. If seed treatment is not done before sowing, then Asafoetida be kept tied with small stone in field irrigation channel

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Organic Top Dressing Mixture of 20kg cow dung of indigenous breed + l0 litre Gomutra + l/2kg, Gur + l/2kg. Gramflour kept in earthen pot for 7 to l0 days. Solution of this mixture in 250 grams of water, should be sprayed on vegetables 3- 4 times with IS days interval and 8-10 times on Sugarcane.

Bio Insect Control:

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5 lits. of buttermilk of indigenous cow 3 to 4kg of Neem leaves or l kg Neem cake. The mixture is kept for 10 days and then mixed with 150 liter of water and sprayed to control caterpillar. 40 days old buttermilk mixed with water in ratio of 1:10 is very effective for control of even big caterpillar. A mixture of 1 kg neem leaves 1 kg ipomea leaves + 1kg leaves of bilva (bel patra) is boiled in 5 liters of water till the quantity is left half and sprayed with 150 liters water. 4kg of neem leaves boiled in 5 liter of water till solution becomes half in quantity this solution is added to 150 liter of water and 2

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liter of fresh gomutra and sprayed on crops. 1/2 kg garlic + 1/2 kg green chilly paste added to 150 liter of water and sprayed on crops for effective control of caterpillar. l /2 kg karanj leaves +100 grams of tobacco boiled in 3 liter of water till solution leaves half. Add 10 times water and spray in one acre for fungal attack. Control

Rat

A mixture of 3 kg ipomiea leaves + 3 dhatura fruit (fruit of belpatra or bilva patra tree) boiled in 3 liter of water till solution left half in quantity. Horse Gram or wheat grain dipped in solution and spread near rat holes. Termite Control Drys cob (without grains) of maize cut into 3-4 pieces kept in small earthen pots with a hole in the bottom. The pot is kept in a pit 150 ft. apart in field such that the mouth opening of pot is 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the field surface. Earthen pot, full of termites, taken out after Sdays and termites are destroyed. This treatment is repeated 3 times. Wild Animal Repellant Earthen pot with a small hole filled with gomutra is hung. The smell of falling gomutra spread out in environment keeps wild life away from crops. Earthen pot with a small hole

Seed Preservation (Hello!! Friends Be Organic)


Written by: RohitRathore
CEREALS

1.Cereals and pulses: Seeds of cereals and pulses are preserved by mixing with leaves of Neem (Azadirachta indica), basil (Ocimum sanctum) and ardushi (adhatoda vasica) at the time of storage in the container. 2. Chilli Powder: Dry chilli powder is mixed with the seeds for safe preservation. 3. Empty Gram Shells: Farmers mix the empty shells of gram (Clcer arietinium) pods with the seeds of cereals and pulses at the time of storage. 4. Cob Heads: Most farmers preserve cob of maize seeds as such till sowing season. In tribal areas these cobs are hung on the roof. 5. Sorghum and pigeon pea seeds: These are preserved by collecting 1 kg of ash by burning cow dung cakes. This will preserve about 20 kg of seed. Seeds are smeared slightly by water (250-300 ml) then the ash is dusted on the seed heap and mixed. Treated seeds are leveled on the ground and dried for two days. Afterwards the seeds are packed and preserved. 6. Wheat seeds: These are preserved in a special way. Approximately 2- ft. deep pits are dug in the store room/house. The bottom of the pit is covered by a thin layer of wheat husk and filled with wheat. Each layer of wheat is alternated with wheat husk and finally covered paddy seeds. 7. The tribal people prepare a container made out of knitted bamboo strips. A sheet like mat of 15'x6' is prepared. A cylindrical container is made from the sheet by joining the ends of the sheet with cow dung and then dried in the sun. This cylinder without a bottom or a bid is placed on the floor. Paddy husk is layered at the bottom. Dried leaves of Butea monosperma are kept vertically between the grains and the cylinder walls. The top of the cylinder is covered lay dried leaves and paddy husk and finally plastered by cow dung. 8. In seeds storage containers the grain is mixed with leaves of Neem, Vitex negundo, Pongamia glabra, tulsi (Ocimum spp). Seed of bitter gourd, snake gourd, ribbed gourd, Dolichos lablab are stored in cow dung cakes. 9.Sorghum seeds are put in a bag and stored in four to five metre deep pits and covered with soil. 10..Rice seed preservation: 'Nishinda' (Vitex negundo) branches with green leaves are kept below and around the gunny bags containing rice seeds. 11.Storage of paddy and pulses seeds: The Paddy is left in the field for 3 days and then stored without winnowing in gunny bag or tied with paddy straw. Then in the month of March they are taken out and dried in the sun for 3, 5, or 7 day and nights. Later they are winnowed, cleaned and filled in gunny bags or tied with Paddy straw with the addition of leaf powder of Vitex negundo in proportion of 15:1 or 20:1. 11.Jowar is stored by mixing with salt, neem leaves and garlic (Allium sativum) VEGETABLES 1. Well matured seeds of brinjal (Solanum melongana) and Okra (Abie Moxhus esculentus) are selected from the standing crop. A vertical cross section is made in them and ash is inserted whole fruit along with the seed is then preserved till the next growing season. 2.Turmeric rhizomes are mixed with cow dung and red gram seeds mixed with red soil during storage 3.Gourd seed preservation: Gourd seeds are preserved by covering with cow dung slurry, drying and then preserving them.

4. Storing seeds within coconut shells: Fully grown coconuts with unripe kernels are selected and soaked in water for about 2 months. Afterward they are dried well in the sunlight. The interior of these coconuts is cleaned and the vegetable seeds are put in through the holes. The hole is then closed with coconut putti and covered with lime. Seeds can be stored up to 2-3 years.The coconut shells can be used for many years and even generations. 5. Seeds of 'Kakara' (bitter gourd), 'Gummadi' (pumpkin), 'pottla' (snake gourd) and beera (Ridge gourd) are stored by mixing them with ash. It is believed that the plants grow well if the seeds mixed with ash are dried and then planted. 6. Storage of groundnut pods: Camphor is used to store groundnut pods for 6-7 months. Properly dried groundnut pods are put in polythene lined gunny bags to a height of 30 cms. Then 8-10 pieces of camphor are placed on this and the bag filled. The mouth is tightly tied. The bags are kept in a moisture free place. This method is also used for storing pulses meant to be used as seed. 7.Seed are preserved by mixing with turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder and castor (Ricinus Communis) oil at the rate of 50 gms castor oil and 25 gms turmeric powder for 1 kg of seed. They are then dried in the sun. 8.Pieces of red chilli (Capsicum annuum) along with salt are mixed with grain. For a kg of grain, about 100 g of chilli, and 100 g of salt are required. 9..Storing castor and sesamum (Sesamum indicum) seeds together can also reduce pest attack.. 10.To reduce pod borer attack, seeds of ridge gourd, bottle gourd, and cow pea are stored as whole pods or dried fruit. PULSES 1. Seeds of 'arhar' (Cajanus cajan) and 'kandula' (Saterculia urens) are mixed with wet red soil and dried in the sun to prevent insects from attacking them. 2..Pulse seeds are stored in bags after drying fully and small bits of basil plant (Ocimum) are mixed with it to keep away storage pests. 3. Pulse crop seeds: These are dried in the sun for 3 to 4 days and nights then they are kept in gunny bags or tied with paddy strum after adding split see coat pieces of castor (Anacardium occidantale). Some farm

Preamble: Sir Albert Howardconsidered by many as the father of sustainable agriculture in the Westwrote 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 : 1. Panchakavya 2. Amrithakaraisal 3. Compost 4. Vermicompost 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

I.PANCHAKAVYA: An organic solution constituted by adding with parts of cows fresh milk, -- parts of cow milks curd, --parts of cow milks ghee, -- parts of cows fresh urine , and -- parts of cows 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 cows 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. 3.Compost: 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. 4.NADEP: 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 href="http://www.icrisat.org/vasat/learning_resources/VC/supplies.ht m /blank"> http://www.icrisat.org/vasat/learning_resources/VC/supplies.htm

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 microorganisms (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, kg chilly should be mixed with 50 ml water and made into a paste. Likewise 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. Bird Attractant 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 kg garlic, kg chilli and 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 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. Rat Control 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 ) NEEM UCA 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. Courtesy: http://www.neemuses.com/other_plants.php 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