Day of celebration: December 5
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
Home made compost from plant residues. Lagro, QC
1. Crops leave a lot of waste after harvest. The most common wastes for composting are rice straw, corn stover, peanut and mungo hay, banana stalk, ipil-ipil, wood and coconut by-products.
• We are getting in return very little of the value of the fertilizer we apply to our crops. We don’t even get half the value of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, the most important ingredients of chemical fertilizers.
30 to 60 % for N,
10 to 35 % for P, and
15 to 30% for K.
• For rice, there are more nutrients removed from the soil that go into the straw than the grain. Here is a comparison. (Grain versus straw, kg nutrient/MT)
Nitrogen: 10.5 - 7.0
Phosphorus: 4.6 – 2.3
Potassium: 3.0 – 17.5
Magnesium: 1.5 – 2.0
Calcium: 0.5 - 3.5
• Rice straw contains 85-90 percent of potassium (K) of the biomass. Thus much greater amounts of K must be applied to maintain soil supply where straw is removed.
2. Farm animals are ideal recyclers.
• Our Philippine carabao is the most efficient feed converter. Of the ruminant animals it has a digestive system that can extract the most nutrients from roughage. Thus it can survive long dry spells, and its manure is excellent fertilizer.
• Native chickens are more resistant than pure breeds to pest and unfavorable weather. They thrive on palay and corn; they forage in the field, and glean on leftovers. They are therefore, more economical to produce, tastier and free of antibiotic residues and artificial growth hormones.
• Goats thrives on farm by-products and unwanted plants. Practically anything that grows in the field is food for goats. Goats however, must be tethered or kept in pens.
• Another recycling project is vermiculture, the culture of earthworms for composting, bait for fishing, and source of protein supplement in feeds. Earthworm castings are excellent soil conditioners for ornamentals and garden crops.
3. Recycle wastes from market and kitchen. Vegetable trimmings, and waste from fish and animals require efficient collection, segregation and processing into biogas and organic fertilizer.
Fruits in season that otherwise go to waste are made into table wine of different flavors. Typhoon or drought affected sugarcane make excellent natural vinegar and molasses.
4. There are many plants growing in the field that are taken for granted or considered weeds. They are Nature’s Gifts. Tap them instead. Examples: Lantana camara as natural pesticide; oregano as natural medicine for cough and sore throat; chichirica as drug against cancer; pandan as spice and condiment; eucalyptus as liniment and cold drops; bunga de China for toothpaste, lagundi for fever and flu.
5. Water harvesting and conserving: Runoff water is waste. Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP) are popular in many parts of the world where water is seasonal. Bigger ones can even generate electricity for the locality. The Bureau of Soils and Water Management of the Department of Agriculture has developed the technology on water impounding.
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NOTE: Please add more information to further enrich this article, particularly on those practices in farm recycling indigenous in your place.