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  Farming with Animals: See What Makes It Interesting
Posted by: Henlus - 02-16-2016, 07:36 PM - Forum: Farm Tools, Equipment & Machinery - Replies (1)

Farming with animals is called draft animal power (DAP). It is an ancient practice but it can still be use today by small scale farmers. If you look around in many places, you’ll notice that majority of farmers practiced small scale farming and a lot of them employ manual labor, especially in poor countries. A work animal can do the work of 10 men… DAP is often more economical than machineries and vehicles that cost millions of naira. The value of machineries depreciates while that of animals appreciates as they give birth. DAP is not powered by fosil fuel. It depends on bioenergy for its creation, maintenance and functioning.

Apart from carrying loads, animals can be use to plough. This is easily employed in fields without roots of trees and shrubs. So fallow period of fields should be short. 2 oxen can plough 8 hactare of land in 32 days. That is 0.25ha per day. 2 bullock working 6hrs/day can plough an acre in 2.75 days. One buffalo working 8hrs/day can plough0.27-0.4ha of paddy land or 0.4-0.53ha of non-irrigated land. Each oxen will need 2000kg DM/yr in feed or 5.5kg DM/day. Green grass can be fed at 5-7kg/day and increased to 10kg/day when work is much. Small amount of supplement should also be given. They include brans, oil cakes, pulses, rice hull, molasses etc.

Research workers recommends that land be ploughed 6-7 times before sowing. But some farmers plough 4-5 times.
The true reason for poor penetration of plough is not the weight of the plough, but  worn or incorrectly aligned shares, tines etc, bad design. Higher angle of pull reduce work load on the animal and reduce the work the implement can do, but the animal will not get exhausted easily.

For low draught operations like weeding and planting, using single animal with well-designed harnesses will double the work output.

Load Carrying Capacity: A load weighing 800-1000kg on a wooden wheel can be drawn by a buffalo over 24km in a working day.  A buffalo can raise enough water to irrigate 0.73ha of paddy in 4 hours.
As a general rule, provided all other factors are favorable, bovines (i.e. cattle and buffaloes) should be able to provide a sustainable draught force of 10-12% of their body weight, while equines (horses, donkeys and mules) and camels will provide 12-14%.

Work Day: Average work day if 4-5 hrs for cows, 6hrs for buffaloes. Animals used for ploughing follows a pattern of 6-8 days of ploughing and 2 days of rest. A bullock in full time ploughing (i.e. maximum heavy labor) typically work for 163 days per year. 

Harnesses: Yorks are used for bovines and collar harnesses with breast strap for equines. Either single yokes or collar harnesses can be used on single oxen. Double shoulder yoke is easy and cheap to make but is inefficient and causes sores and injuries. Shaping the yoke to give a large contact area between the yoke, neck and shoulder with padding if necessary, inimizes pressure and enables the animal to exert more force without pain and improve the power output.
Full or split collar harnesses can be used effectively with oxen, buffalo and donkeys.

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  How Azolla Can Reduce Animal Feed Cost
Posted by: Henlus - 02-14-2016, 10:01 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (14)

Azolla has enormous potential as a livestock feed due to:

1 Its high content in proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B12, Beta Carotene), growth promoter intermediaries and minerals.
2 Its ability to proliferate without inorganic nitrogen fertilization.
3 Its high rate of growth in water without the need to displace existing crops or natural ecological systems.

It has been used for many years throughout Asia and parts of Africa to feed pigs, ducks, chickens, cattle, fish, sheep and goats and rabbits.
Click here for details about cultivating Azolla for livestock feed and its profitability when used as a  livestock feed.
Suitability of Azolla as a livestock feed
Green plants have long been recognized as the cheapest and most abundant potential source of proteins because of their ability to synthesize amino acids from a wide range of virtually unlimited and readily available primary materials (Fasuyi & Aletor, 2005)
Azolla is very rich in proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B12, Beta Carotene), growth promoter intermediaries and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, potassium, ferrous, copper, magnesium.  On a dry weight basis, Azollahas 25-35% protein content, 10-15% mineral content, and 7-10% comprising a combination of amino acids, bio-active substances and biopolymers (Kamalasananaet al., 2002). Azolla’s carbohydrate and oil content is very low.

Azolla is also rich in iron (1000–8600 ppm dry weight), copper (3–210 ppm dry weight) manganese (120–2700 ppm dry weight), vitamin A (300–600 ppm dry weight.), vitamin A (300–600 ppm dry weigh), chlorophyll and carotenes. It contains 4.8–6.7% dry weight crude fat, with 6.1–7.7% and 12.8– 26.4% total fat for the polyunsaturated acids omega 3 and omega 6 (Paoletti et al., 1987).
Azolla meal contains 25.78% crude protein, 15.71% crude fiber, 3.47% ether extract, 15.76% ash and 30.08% nitrogen free extract on the air-dry basis (Basak et al., 2002).  In addition, aquatic plant species including Azolla do not to accumulate secondary plant compounds and therefore has a greater potential than tree leaves to source protein for monogastric animals.
Becerra et al. (1995), Lumpkin & Plucknett (1982) and Van Hove & López (1983) all concluded that Azolla is the most promising aquatic plant for livestock feed due to its ease of cultivation, productivity and nutritive value.  Azolla’s use as a feed for fish, swine and poultry was also tested and recommended by Alcantara & Querubin (1985) and Tran & Dao (1979) reported that one hectare of Azolla can produce 540-720 kg of protein per month.

Azolla’s composition therefore makes it one of the most economic and efficient feed substitutes for livestock, particularly as can be easily digested by livestock due to its high protein and low lignin content.

Here are some examples.

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  Rice Production: How to Increase Rice Yield By Over 50%
Posted by: Henlus - 02-14-2016, 09:52 PM - Forum: Crops & Plantation Farming - Replies (2)

Left: Farmer inoculating a rice paddy with Azolla. Right: Azolla growing between rice plants.

The ability of Azolla’s symbiont, Anabaena, to sequester atmospheric nitrogen has been used for thousands of years in the Far East, where Azolla is extensively grown in rice paddies to increase rice production by more than to 50%.

Rice is an enormously important staple in many tropical and temperate regions of the world. Billions of people rely on the crop to live and hundreds of millions are now threatened by food shortages that are increasing each year.

World rice production was approximately 645 million tonnes in 2007. At least 114 countries grow rice and more than 50 have an annual production of 100,000 tonnes or more. Asian farmers produce about 90% of the total, with two countries, China and India, growing more than half the total crop.
Nitrogen is the single most limiting factor in rice cultivation, strongly affecting the crop yield. Azolla substantially increases the amount of nitrogen fertilizer available to growing rice and it is has been used for thousands of years as a ‘green’ nitrogen fertilizer to increase rice production.
Research into Azolla’s use in rice production has therefore grown over the past years, including the development of new hybrids.

Videos of Azolla‘s use to increase rice production are shown here.

Azolla’s increase in rice productivity
Less that 5% of the nitrogen sequestered by Azolla is available immediately to the growing rice plants. The remaining 95% remains in the Azolla’s biomass until the plant dies. As the plant decomposes, its organic nitrogen is rapidly mineralized and released as ammonia, which then becomes available as a biofertilizer for the growing rice plants.
Various techniques have therefore been developed to maximize Azolla’s nitrogen fertilization, with the result that Azolla now has enormous potential to increase rice production worldwide and hence alleviate food shortages.

These include methods to increase the availability of the nitrogen assimilated byAzolla-Anabaena to the growing rice plants.

In Tanzania, Wagner (1996) applied Azolla nilotica in various trials as an intercrop and obtained increases of up to 103% in rice grain yield.

Experiments at the University of California at Davis showed that Azolla increased rice yields by 112% over unfertilized controls when applied as a monocrop during the fallow season, by just 23% when applied as an intercrop with rice. However, the amount increased by 216% when Azolla was applied both as a monocrop and an intercrop (Peters, 1978).

Azolla’s nitrogen release into water
Most of the nitrogen fixed becomes available to rice only after the Azolla has decomposed, although a small amount of ammonium is released into the water byAzolla during growth (Watanabe, 1984)
This was confirmed by Chung-Chu (1984), who determined that only 3 to 4% of the total nitrogen fixed by Azolla is excreted into the water medium during its growth.

During decomposition, organic nitrogen is mineralized rapidly during the first two weeks and then at a more gradual rate (Watanabe, 1984). Nitrogen is released mainly in the form of ammonium. Ammonium-nitrogen released was found to stabilize at about 1 mg ammonium-N g-1 of fresh Azolla, which was 26-28% of the total nitrogen content of Azolla (Tung & Shen, 1985).

Azolla’s incorporation of nitrogen into soil
Incorporation of Azolla into the soil improves the release of nitrogen (Tung & Shen, 1985). If Azolla is grown as a monocrop and the field should be drained several days in advance of incorporation. The last mat should be incorporated and the field kept drained for 4 or 5 days before transplanting rice in order to speed decomposition (Lumpkin, 1987a).

Azolla’s use as an intercrop
Azolla incorporated 78 days after transplanting rice was shown to contribute a greater amount of nitrogen to rice grain than was contributed by earlier incorporation (30-53 days after transplanting) (Ito & Watanabe, 1985). Since it has been found that the optimal stocking density for Azolla, with respect to area-specific nitrogenase activity, is approximately 50 to 100 g dry weight m-2 (Hechler & Dawson, 1995), nitrogen inputs may be best maximized by frequent but partial incorporations of Azolla.

Other benefits of incorporating Azolla in rice cultivation
As well as its nitrogen biofertilization, Azolla provides a variety of benefits for rice production and grows in a way that is complementary to rice cultivation:

[1] The thick Azolla mat in rice fields suppresses weeds.
[2] Since Azolla floats at the water surface, it does compete with rice for light and space.
[3] In most climates, Azolla grows best under a partial shade of vegetation which is provided by the rice canopy during early and intermediate stages of growth
[4] When the rice approaches maturity, Azolla begins to die and decompose due to low light intensities under the canopy and a depletion of nutrients, thus releasing its nutrients into the water.
[5] Because Azolla decomposes rapidly, its nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients are rapidly released into the water and made available for uptake by rice during grain development.
[6] Azolla has a greater ability than rice to accumulate potassium in its tissues in low-potassium environments, providing rice with potassium after Azolla’s decomposition
[7] In contrast with chemical nitrogenous fertilizers, Azolla has various positive long-term effects, including the improvement of soil fertility by increasing total nitrogen, organic carbon, plus phosphorus, potassium, other nutrients and organic matter.
[8] If chemical nitrogenous fertilizers are applied, the presence of an Azolla mat reduces ammonia volatilization that would normally occur.
[9] When grown in a rice field, Azolla reduces the ammonia volatilization that occurs following the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers by 20% to 50%. This is due to the fact that the Azolla cover reduces light penetration into the floodwater, thus hindering the rise of pH which normally stimulates ammonia volatilization in an Azolla-free rice field (Watanabe & Liu, 1992).

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  Growing Maggot for Animal Feed: My Little Experiment
Posted by: Henlus - 02-13-2016, 06:48 AM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (14)

With the high price of animal feed, growing maggots is beginning to make sense. Maggots come from flies. When flies lay eggs, the eggs pass through several stages before they turn into flies. One of the stages is the maggot stage.
You can use the maggot to feed fish, chickens and other animals.  I’m targeting fish and chickens but I’ll be starting with chickens.

Growing The Maggots
To grow maggot, you need cheap inputs like manure, kitchen waste and sawdust or rice hull. I mixed rice hull with manure (my layers’ droppings) in a bowl (let’s call this growing bowl) and added just enough water to make it moist but not wet. I then mix thoroughly and placed some kitchen waste on this mixture to attract a lot of flies. You can use soup, fruits or anything that will attract a lot of flies. I used my dog’s leftover garri balls mixed with soup.

Note: The growing bowl you used should have holes in the bottom so that excess water can go out. These holes must be small so that some maggots won’t escape.

After the flies have finished laying their eggs. cover the bowl with something and place under a shaded area. Protect it from ants, lizards, chickens etc. I used chicken wire to cover them and finally cover with zinc. The chicken wire will prevent lizards and the zinc will stop chickens. I placed the growing bowls on a raised platform. The little kerosene I sprayed on the platform will stop ants. In few hours time you’ll see some small maggots. Leave them for 5 days before you harvest.

Spread net over a bowl (harvesting bowl).

Place the maggot-filled substrate on the net. Spread it thinly so that they can’t hide under. Fear of light will make them to force themselves through the tiny holes in the net.

Mine were big and some could not pass through the net. This was because I harvested when they were 8 days old. This makes harvesting very tedious because I have to pick many by hand. Next time I’ll harvest when they are smaller, say 5 days old. Note that the older the maggots, the less nutrient they’ll contain – and the less digestible they’ll become. Young maggots, though smaller, are more nutritious and more digestible.
To prevent the maggots from climbing the walls of the harvesting bowl, dust it with ash or rice hull dust. I used rice hull dust.

Maggots like hiding away from light, so it will be good if you place something in the harvesting bowl where they can hide under. I used rice hull but later regretted it because I later have to separate the maggots from it. Next time I’ll be using a plastic cover, making provision for access roads they’ll use to crawl under the plastic.

If you leave them beyond 10 days, they’ll turn into flies and fly away.

Harvest was bountiful. It makes sense to do this large scale.

To process, I poured very hot water on them. This will kill every germs in it and makes it more digestible. I left if in the hot water for a while before draining.

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  Hen with Bluish Swelling Below Earlop
Posted by: Henlus - 02-12-2016, 08:40 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (3)

What could this be? I just saw it on one of my layers. A search on google told me that it will heal eventually. The hen is acting fine, no sign of disease.

.jpg   swollen earlop22.jpg (Size: 30.96 KB / Downloads: 33)

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  Growing My Duckweed
Posted by: Henlus - 02-12-2016, 07:39 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (10)

Like I said before in this thread, I finally found duckweed. But I don't have enough space to build a big earthen pond where I'll plant them. so I'm presently keeping them alive in a small basin until I can get sufficient space. I've also harvested some and dry them. I fed some to my broilers.


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  Biogas: Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio of Different Plant and Animal Wastes
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 11:53 PM - Forum: Renewable Energy - No Replies

Biogas Production: Avoid Failure by Using the Correct Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio


[Image: c-n-ratio.gif]

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  Tips on Resistance to antibiotics
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 11:06 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (5)

·     is mainly a problem in Gram-negative bacteria: E. coli, Salmonella
·        resistant strains can be introduced by one-day old chicks through the hatchery. So resistance is possible in farms where no drugs have been used
·        routine preventive treatments increase resistance
·        low concentrations (often in preventive treatments) increase resistance
·        some drugs easily create resistance: streptomycin
·        some drugs create multi-resistance. Multi-resistance is the combined resistance to different groups of drugs (e.g. neomycin)
·        in a healthy environment, where no antibiotics/chemotherapeutics are used, the resistance disappears rather rapidly.

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  New tool predicts Piglet´s Nursing Ability
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 10:55 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (3)

Unlike humans, when pigs are born, they enter the world without any immunity against foreign elements like disease-causing pathogens. Their chance for survival relies heavily on getting enough colostrom—a milk-like substance produced by mammals after giving birth.

Newborns that fail to nurse and receive colostrum from the sow within the first 24 hours usually die. That's because piglets are born with limited energy stores, and colostrum also provides the energy they need to stay alive.

For the swine industry, preweaning mortality has long been a major problem, costing an estimated $1.6 billion each year. Now, a new tool may help give these at-risk animals a second chance.

To improve neonatal piglet survival, Agricultural Research Service physiologists Jeffrey Vallet, Jeremy Miles, and Lea Rempel at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, have developed a measuring technique referred to as the "immunocrit" that can determine whether neonatal piglets have received adequate colostrum from the sow.
Colostrum contains immunoglobulins, which are antibodies made by the sow's immune system to protect against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. Humans receive these antibodies in their mother's womb, but pigs and other livestock rely on passive transfer through nursing after birth, says Vallet, research leader of USMARC's Reproduction Unit. Thus, piglets are born with no immunoglobulin, and piglet serum immunoglobulin reflects their colostrum intake.

"Colostrum gives piglets their first antibodies so that they can have some immunological protection during the first couple of days of life," Miles says. "If they don't suckle, they don't have any immunoglobulins." 

The Immunocrit at Work
The immunocrit, which measures newborn piglet serum immunoglobulin, is simple, inexpensive, rapid, and accurate. It is similar to the hematocrit, used for years by doctors to measure the volume of blood cells and determine whether a patient is anemic, Vallet says.

Blood samples are taken from piglets on day one after birth, mixed with ammonia sulfate to precipitate immunoglobulin, put into a microcapillary tube, and spun so the precipitated immunoglobulin settles to the bottom. The volume of the precipitated immunoglobulin is then measured and divided by the total volume in the tube.
"We can go through a litter of piglets and take blood samples quickly and easily, and the assay itself is very simple to use," Vallet says.
Scientists have demonstrated that immunocrit measurements are predictive of piglets' mortality and nursing ability and that the average immunocrit of piglets in a litter reflects the sow's colostrum production capability. Because the test is so rapid, it is possible to identify compromised piglets and take steps to rescue them, Vallet says. 
Help for the Smallest
The immunocrit is good at identifying piglets within a litter that haven't eaten at all or haven't had the opportunity to nurse, Miles says. In one experiment, scientists used the immunocrit to assess colostrum intake in a group of piglets—the smallest from each litter—and then measured the contents of each piglet's stomach. They found that some piglets' stomachs were nearly empty. Those same piglets had an immunocrit measurement of nearly zero, validating that the immunocrit accurately detects piglets that receive no colostrum within a 24-hour period.
Immunocrit results correlated well with results from a more complicated and expensive traditional method—protein A sepharose combined with electrophoresis—in detecting piglets that had not nursed at all.
In another study, using more than 2,000 piglets, researchers found that the immunocrit could predict preweaning survival. They also noted a connection between immunocrit measurements and piglet weight: Heavier piglets were more likely to survive the challenge of not getting colostrum within the critical time frame. 
Enhancing Management Practices
The immunocrit can be used to test management practices, such as split suckling, and other strategies used by swine producers to help prevent colostrum deficiency, Vallet says.
Split suckling is a labor-intensive method that involves marking the first-born group of piglets, putting them aside, and then allowing the last piglets born uninhibited access to the sow. The practice is designed to improve access to colostrum for later-born piglets, because studies have shown that there is some influence of birth order on colostrum intake.
"The immunocrit can be performed 24 hours after the split suckling procedure to find out if progress is being made in improving colostrum in different piglets," Vallet says. "Producers can also use the immunocrit as a monitoring device for day-one piglet care. For example, they can randomly select piglets and benchmark how those piglets are doing."
The new technique isn't just for pigs. It could also fit well into management practices of cattle producers. The immunocrit was successfully used to monitor colostrum intake of 96 calves 24 hours after birth. 
Taking a Genetic Approach
"Another strategy is to use genomics to modify the colostrum-piglet-mother interaction during that first 24-hour window," Vallet says. "We should be able to use the immunocrit to get some idea of the sow's ability to produce colostrum and then genetically select for colostrum production."
Preliminary research conducted by Gary Rohrer, a geneticist at USMARC, suggests that individual immunocrit values are heritable, presumably because nursing ability is heritable. From analyses of piglets and their mothers, Rohrer found the most significant portion of the variation—50 percent—is accounted for by the piglet's genetics. The mother is responsible for 20 percent of the variation.
Immunocrit data collected from 500 litters—about 5,000 piglets—provide a valid sample for genomic research, Vallet says. Data from each individual piglet is an indicator of its nursing ability, but the average across all piglets gives some indication of the sow's colostrum-production ability.
"When it comes to genetic associations, the more numbers, the better," Rohrer says. "Not only do we have a much higher heritability for the actual piglet's ability or potential, we also have a lot more records."
Rohrer plans to group DNA from piglets with very high immunocrit values and compare it with DNA collected from piglets with very low values.
"We can efficiently genotype those pools of DNA, estimate frequencies, and hopefully identify regions of the genome that are affecting the pig's ability to acquire and absorb colostrum," he says.
If successful, researchers would be able to recommend genetic markers that allow pork producers to identify and breed sows that ably produce colostrum and piglets with improved neonatal nursing abilities— an outcome that would help reduce the odds of preweaning mortality.- By Sandra Avant, ARS. 
This research is part of Food Animal Production (#101), an ARS national program described at http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov.
Jeffrey Vallet is with the USDA-ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Spur 18D, Clay Center, NE 68933; (402) 762- 4187, jeff.vallet@ars.usda.gov.
This article was originally published in the U.S Department of Agriculture´s science magazine, Agricultural Research, October 2012. Engormix.com thanks for this huge contribution. 

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  Effect of Type of Slatted Floor and Degree of Fouling of Solid Floor on Ammonia Emiss
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 10:45 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (1)


The influence on ammonia emission to the atmosphere, of five types of slatted floor and of the degree of fouling of the solid floor was investigated in houses for fattening pigs. In the experiment there were two concrete slatted floors (S1with slats 10 cm wide and 2 cm gaps;S2with slats 7 cm wide and 1.8 cm gaps); a cast iron slatted floor (S3with slats 2.5 cm wide and 1.5 cm gaps) and two floors whose metal slats were triangular in cross section (S4with 1 cm wide slats and 1 cm gaps;S5was the same as S4, but partially covered over an area of 0.8×0.7 m with studs 5 cm high and 3.2 cm diameter, spaced at 20 cm). Three partially slatted compartments (all 25% slatted and 75% bare solid concrete) for 36 fattening pigs each were used. Air was drawn from outside through underground heat exchange tubes and entered the compartments via a ceiling of perforated plastic sheeting. The five types of slats were changed around between the three compartments (three in, two out) every three weeks during two growing periods of 15 weeks each, one during the winter and one during the summer. Ammonia concentrations in incoming and outgoing air and ventilation rate were measured continuously to calculate the ammonia emission to the atmosphere. The area of the solid floor wetted with urine was assessed visually. The excreting and lying locations of the pigs were determined from video recordings.

S5 showed the lowest occurrence of excretions on the solid floor. Also in S5 the lowest number of pigs were lying on the pen partition side (the side with naps) of the slatted floor. The ammonia emissions were calculated relative to S1. These were 106% for S2, 95% for S3, 73% for S4 and 64% for S5 (SED 16%). The solid floor was fouled more during the summer than during the winter (P<0.05); fouling increased towards the end of the growing period (P<0.001). Opting for slatted floors from metal with more open space than concrete slatted floors, such as the floor with triangular section metal slats, significantly reduces ammonia emission from the slats. Partially covering the slatted floor with studs prevents pigs from lying in this area so that they use this area for excretion, giving less fouling and ammonia emission from the solid floor.


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  Use of human urine as fertilizer
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 10:36 PM - Forum: Crops & Plantation Farming - Replies (2)

On average, 1 liter of pure human urine contains about 7 gm nitrogen, 1 gm Phosphorous, 2 gm potassium, 1 gm sulphur, 80 mg magnesium and 200 mg calcium. As a result, it can be a cheap source of organic nutrients for plants. Urine from animals (cattle, rabbit etc) can also be used.
How to Collect Urine: Ecological sanitation (Eco-san) toilets can be used to collect human urine since they have separate hole for urine diversion and feaces. The urine is channeled to the collection vessels through a polythene pipe. Jerry can or plastic tanks with 15-25 liters capacity can be used as collection vessels for household. If eco-san toilets are not available, you can improvise a way to collect urine.
On large scale, urine can be collected from public places such as hotels, bus
parks etc.
Storage: The urine is stored for at least 1 month in airtight cans to kill enteric microorganisms prior to using in plants. Air must not be allowed to get into the storage container because it will react with the urine and lead to nitrogen loss in the form of ammonia. Stir the urine from time to time to prevent phosphorus precipitation. Storing for more than 100 days ensures that all enteric microbes are killed.
How to Use: It can be diluted and used to fertilize crops or in an undiluted form, it can be used as a soil drench for fruit trees. To reduce nitrogen loss after applying urine fertilizer, work it into the soil and apply when the temperature is low (morning or evening).
The amount to apply will depend on soil fertility, other source of nutrients used and requirement of the plant. You’ll get better results when urine fertilizer is applied in the early growth stage of the crop. This is because nitrogen is essential for leaves growth.
To fertilize vegetables with urine fertilizer, dilute it with water in a urine:water ratio of 1:6. Use this to fertilize the soil around the roots. Application interval is every 15 days or thereabout.
As a foliar fertilizer (i.e. fertilizer spread on the leaves), the dilution rate should be 1:10. This is mainly used for young plants. Spray both sides of the leaves. Application interval is every 15 days or thereabout. Note that as foliar fertilizer, the urine must be diluted to avoid burning the leaves.
For fruit trees, you can apply to the root zone without diluting. Application interval is 2-3 times per year at 15-20 liters per application.
Urine fertilizer can be applied to all crops, but it is mainly used in vegetables and fruit trees whose edible parts do not touched the soil.
Other Uses: It can also be mixed with compost and used a lime substitute (to correct acidic soil) since urine increases soil pH.
Precaution: Never apply urine directly on the parts of the plants harvested and it should be stopped at least 1 month before harvesting to avoid any possible risk of crop contamination with germs. Another thing to prepare for is smell. You may fine it offensive.

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  Organic Farming: Cow's milk Prevents viral diseases In Crops
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 10:34 PM - Forum: Crops & Plantation Farming - Replies (1)

Cow’s milk is used to suppress viral diseases in cucumber, tomato, pepper and other crops. It does this by increasing the pH of leaf surface (6.2-6.8), thus establishing a protective barrier and the crop develops systemic resistance to virus. Milk protein (casein) inactivates the virus protein (capsid protein) in plants.
This technique is being used by many organic vegetable growers.
How to Apply: Mix 1 part cow milk with 8 part water and spray on your plants at 7 days interval. You may also spray once in 15 days before disease appearance and at 7 days interval for reducing the spread of virus. Spray both sides of the leaves (top and bottom) and spray when the sun is not shining (morning or evening). Note that application at higher concentration is not economical and you should practice this only if cow milk is readily available and cheap.
This spray has been reported to be effective in controlling powdery mildew.

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  Problems of Cassava Processing in Nigeria
Posted by: Henlus - 02-09-2016, 10:24 PM - Forum: Crops & Plantation Farming - Replies (1)

Quote:Turning now to large scale assembly in quick succession, it has already been mentioned that very few plants are in operation today. This was not the case even two years ago. In the late 1990s medium to large processing facilities were operating, many as starch manufacturers.
However, many of these industries closed down because they were working at low and seasonal capacities. Peak Products Nigeria Limited is an example of a company that was able to adjust under adverse circumstances and thus remain in operation. Its story is worth describing here in some detail. 

Peak Products Nigeria Limited began cassava processing in 1998 with the sun drying of cassava flour. The flour was sold to bakeries and confectionaries through Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (Agro Processing Unit). However, some processors began contaminated fermented cassava flour with unfermented cassava and by 1999-2000 the flour bakeries and confectionaries stopped asking for and using cassava flour. This forced Peak to shift to the production of sun dried cassava starch.  With growing demand for cassava starch, Peak upgraded from sun drying to the use of a mechanical dryer. Using a flash dryer, production capacity achieved 3-5 tonnes per day, 72 000 tonnes per year with a daily input of 25-30 tonnes of wet starch.
Flash drying however requires a wet milling component. Faced with environmental problems, the company was forced to stop wet milling and instead obtained wet cake from rural women. At present Peak is currently under utilized in its production of cassava starch because it has diversified production into the fabrication of flash dryers.
Existing buyers of Peak’s flash dryers are predominantly chemical companies from the Sango-Lagos Axis and a few beverages and food industries. Prospective buyers include Nigerian Distilleries in Ota who want 150 tonnes of cassava flour per day for ethanol production. DeUnited Nig Ltd., is looking to produce 60 000 tonne of cassava flour per month for noodles (Ndomie Noodles). Oil companies are interested in producing cassava starch for drilling muds11. Textile industries, although not currently using local cassava starch negotiations are currently underway between the Government, cassava processors and the textile industry. Finally, paper mills such as Iwopin Paper Mill in Ogun State and Okui Ibokwe Paper Mill in Akwa Ibom State may also patronize cassava starch in the near future12
Although no one can know the likelihood that these prospective buyers will actually purchase, their efforts to search out information on cassava processing fabrication offers hope. Their slowness to invest however may be a symptom of uncertainty regarding future government policy directions, uncertainty in being able to produce competitively and uncertainty in their ability to source cassava roots. As illustrated in the Peak example, cassava processing is vulnerable to many conditions – market vagaries, trade policy, product substitution, and adverse environmental impacts, to name a few.
The ability (or inability) to source a reliable stream of good quality cassava roots is also a real concern for cassava processors. Problems relating to sourcing cassava roots are a serious deterrent for industrialists as described in the following example of the Mosaconi Cassava Factory in Kogi. The Mosaconi Cassava factory was a large operation that utilized raw cassava from farmers for the production of packaged gari and laundry starch for local markets. It began operations in 1993 but closed in 1999. Before the establishment of the factory, the community used cheap cassava for the production of local staple foods like lafun and gari. When the company began, it patronized all cassava growers in the state and bought most of the cassava from their farms. This resulted in a scarcity of cassava and a higher selling price for smaller local processors. As local cassava prices rose, public complaint by the local people surfaced that the presence of the factory was increasing the price of lafun. This resulted in host of problems such as pilfering, administration fraud, and use of poor land, lack of adequate accurate information and vandalism of factory equipment. The factory suffered as a result and faced a shortage of cassava for its operation. Since the factory had no farm of its own, it tried to solicit cassava growers to supply cassava into the factory through radio and television jingles. This only encouraged cassava growers to truncate the maturity of planted cassava, selling cassava of less than eight months old. After many unsuccessful attempts at troubleshooting, the owner was forced to close down the company. Clearly if cassava processing is to mature in Nigeria these types of deterrents must be resolved.
Source: Cassava Industrial Revolution in Nigeria, IFAD, FAO.

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  My Backyard Poultry
Posted by: eluquenson - 02-01-2016, 12:17 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (15)

This is my backyard Turkey farming, they are hybrid and i bought them at 8weeks old.    

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  newest member
Posted by: jesusbaby6 - 01-25-2016, 11:07 AM - Forum: Introduction - Replies (1)

Good morning house. I am new here.

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Posted by: vicomofarms - 01-25-2016, 06:00 AM - Forum: Introduction - Replies (2)

I am here to exchange views with fellow snail farmers. I won't bore you with lots of write ups. I will give you Just the needful.

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  I am new...and interested in beef processing
Posted by: safecuts - 01-19-2016, 09:39 PM - Forum: Introduction - Replies (1)

Hi guys,

I am new here and I think this forum is fabulous! I would appreciate information on the set up of a small scale abattoir...and beef processing. Any ideas, information or materials? Please help out!!

My strong point is business planning, and I would be glad to share!!

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  Alfalfa and Elephant grass
Posted by: Majinice - 01-14-2016, 10:20 AM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (6)

Hello farmers, please were can I get alfalfa and elephant grass in the north for my rabbits and what are their names in Hausa please?

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  How long can egg store without refrigeration?
Posted by: Hilux - 12-30-2015, 04:43 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - No Replies

Gud evening all. Pls How long can egg store without refrigeration?

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  How Big Should Layers House Be?
Posted by: Hilux - 12-30-2015, 04:40 PM - Forum: Livestock Farming - Replies (1)

I’m planning to start layers farming. Pls what size is needed for 1000 birds?

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