A Case Study on Bio Dynamic Vegetable Cultivation | Organic Farming | Soil Science

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UTILIZATION OF  LOCAL ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS IN  COW HORN MANURE (BD 500) PREPARATIONS: A CASE  STUDY ON BIODYNAMIC VEGETABLE CULTIVATION   K. PERUMAL & T.M. VATSALA Shri A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre  Tharamani, Chennai, 600 113, w:st= on India  Email: energy1@vsnl.com ABSTRACT   At   the   Shri   AMM   Murugappa   Chettiar   Research   Centre   apart   from   organic   farming   practices,  biodynamic agriculture practices were undertaken between 1977­1980 by following the combi
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  UTILIZATION OF LOCAL ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS INCOW HORN MANURE (BD 500) PREPARATIONS: A CASESTUDY ON BIODYNAMIC VEGETABLE CULTIVATION   K. PERUMAL & T.M. VATSALAShri A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar Research CentreTharamani, Chennai, 600 113, w:st= on India  Email:   energy1@vsnl.com   ABSTRACT At the Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre apart from organic farming practices,biodynamic agriculture practices were undertaken between 1977­1980 by following the combinationof French Intensive Gardening Techniques and biodynamic principles in a village near Chennai. Theexperimental results were quite promising and well appreciated. The studies on biodynamic agricultural practices with scientific observation, identification of microbial diversity and its interaction in soil with different vegetable crop cultivation wasundertaken in a model farm at Sevapur. Three different vegetable crops such as carrot, onion and okra were cultivated in soil amended withdifferent manures such as organic and biodynamic .The vegetables cultivated in the experimentalplots with organic and biodynamic manures produced comparable yield, less pest and diseaseattack, improved soil physical­chemical and microbiological properties. The studies on biodynamic preparations such as BD500, CPP and biodynamic compost wereperiodically evaluated for its compost/ manure maturity. Chromatographic techniques, microbialidentification­enumeration and its physiochemical properties like pH, moisture and the availableNPK were critically evaluated on these preparations. Further the possibilities of developingindigenous techniques to the local needs by identifying and characterizing locally available plantmaterials were evaluated. In general BD500 is prepared by using a lactating cow horn. In w:st= on India, the availability of cow horn is becoming an issue. According to Rudolf Stainer the clay is the mediator betweencalcium and silica process. The clay soil can therefore be used as one of the source materials inBiodynamics. Instead of using cow horn for BD500 preparation, the horn shaped mould wasfabricated with clay soil. These mud horns were buried along with cow dung in the same way and atthe same time as the horn cow dung. The quantity and quality of mud horn manure was evaluated critically. The alternative plantmaterial such as flowers fromcompositae such as Tridex    procumbens,   Ageratum conzyzoides and leaves of  Casuarina sp. were explored for its potentials in biodynamics.The results of these studies will be elaborated at the time of presentation.  INTRODUCTION BIODYNAMIC agriculture is an advanced organic farming system developed out of eight lectureson agriculture given by Rudolf Steiner 1 in 1924 at the request of German farmers. This agriculturalsystem is considered to be the oldest organized agriculture movement in the world. Like organicfarming, biodynamic farming needs no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers. It emphasizes building upthe soil with biodynamic compost, animal and green manures, crop rotations and live stocks. Theimportant difference is that the biodynamic farmers use eight specific preparation such as cow hornmanure (BD 500), cow horn silica (BD 501) and herbal preparations BD 502­ 507 to their soil,compost, special foliar sprays and peppering for pest control to the crops which could enhance foodquality, quantity and soil health.Forty years of investigation conducted by comparing biodynamic and conventional farms orresearch plots in different countries indicated that the biodynamic farming system generally havebetter soil quality, crop yield and equal or high net returns per hectare than the conventional farmingpractices 2 . In w:st= on India studies on organic management with and without addition of biodynamic preparations showed improved biological soil properties and increased crop rootgrowth 3 . Recently there has been increasing interest in biodynamic farming and new gardeningsystem derived from the teaching of Rudolf Steiner and by subsequent practitioners.In w:st= on India the biodynamic farming go hand in hand with organic farming practices whichwere followed from ancient times. Many of the practices incorporated in biodynamic farming arethe traditions ofw:st= on India. By the introduction of green revolution in w:st= on India, most of the Indian traditional agricultural practices were taken over by chemical fertilizer crop production.Even then, w:st= on India has achieved self­sufficiency and good degree of stability in foodproduction. However, self­sufficiency can be achieved only when the population is assured of abalanced quality diet. These balanced diets for the individuals in country could be achieved onlythrough a qualitative and quantitative sustainable cropping system by adapting to organic andbiodynamic sustainable agriculture in w:st= on India. The varied agro­climatic conditionsin w:st= on India make it possible to grow a wide variety of crops and vegetables.In w:st= on India vegetables are grown in 20% of the total cropped area of which 50% is consumedlocally and, being the second largest producer of vegetables in the world could contribute qualitybalanced diet to the consumers. Among the vegetables cultivated in w:st= on India, the rootvegetable carrot is an important contributor of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to the consumers.This crop requires an optimum temperature of 15­23 ° C for their growth in soils amended with richdecomposed organic matter.The present study was conducted to know the efficacy of biodynamic management of carrot, okraand onion cultivation in the plain where the temperature remains above 28 ° C. Further to test thequality of vegetables grown biodynamically and compare it with commercially grown vegetables,by biodynamic circular paper chromatographic technique.   MATERIALS AND METHODS The present research activities were undertaken at the field laboratory of Shri AMM MurugappaChettiar Research Centre (Extension), Sevapur, Karur District, Tamil Nadu during August 2000 –July 2002. The climate of the site, in general is sub tropical characterized by hot summer and mild  winter. The temperature during the cultivation remained at 35 – 28 + 2 ° C during day and nightrespectively.   Biodynamic compost preparation & alternatives The vermicompost was prepared as per the instruction outlined in the “Organic composting trainingmanual” published by Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research centre, Chennai (1999). Thebiodynamic compost, cow horn manure (BD 500), and cow pat pit ( CPP) were made and applied tothe soil by following the instruction laid down by Proctor 3 .The mud mould horn manure: The clay soil was used to prepare a cow horn shaped mould. Insteadof using cow horn for BD500 preparation, the horn shaped mould was fabricated with clay soil.These mud horns were filled in with lactating cow dung and buried along with regular BD 500 inthe same way and at the same time as the horn cow dung. A time scale studies were carried out todetermine the quantitative and qualitative changes occurring during manure maturity.The flowers of Peltophorum ferrugineum were used along with lactating cow dung. The following 3combinations such as flower, flower & cow dung 1:1 W/W) and cow dung were made, filled in thecow horns individually, buried and periodically evaluated for its physiochemical andmicrobiological properties.The above mentioned manures such as vermicompost, biodynamic compost, Cow horn manure(BD500) and CPP were further used for the following studies on vegetable cultivation. Vegetable cultivation Seeds : The seeds of okra (  Abelmochus   esculantus ), onion (  Alium   cepa ) and carrot(  Daucus   carrota L) were purchased from the Department of Agriculture, Tamil Nadu.  Plot Design: The vegetables okra, onion were cultivated in a randomized block design with threereplicates each with 1.5 cent plot area. The carrot was cultivated in the experimental plot size of 1mX 1m of well drained, slightly alkaline (pH 8.0), silt loam and having the available nitrogen (N),phosphorus (P) and potash (K) at 73, 6, 89 kg/ha respectively were selected.  Treatment: Carrot Cultivation:  The soil was initially amended with 7 kg of vermicompost, 7 kg of biodynamic compost and 1 kg of cow pat pit manure (CPP) which were previously prepared and thoroughly mixed. The carrotseeds were propagated on a root sign day (11th November 2001: The sun position was opposite toLibra and the moon was opposite to Leo­ Virgo) at the experimental plot. Once in 3 days irrigationwas done. On the 15 th day after sowing thinning process (5 cm between plants) was undertaken.Forty day after sowing earthing up and top dressing were undertaken with an application of 7 kgeach of vermicompost and biodynamic compost manures. Weeding was done on 20 th and 40 th dayafter sowing. On the 60 th and 80 th day after sowing vermicompost extract prepared by mixing 3 kgof vermicompost in 2000 ml of water. An extract of 500 ml was collected and again diluted with500 ml of water. This extract (100 ml) was applied as foliar spray in addition to cow urine (3%V/V). On the 80 th day after sowing a foliar spray of BD 501 was given and 50 grams of gypsum alsoapplied to the soil. On the 95 th day after sowing carrot crop was harvested. Okra & Onion cultivation : The okra (  Abelmochus   esculantus ), onion (  Allium   cepa ) were cultivated on fruit­ root sign dayduring May­ August 2000 at the experimental plots and a comparison was made between fourfarming system such as Farmers practice ( T1 ­ consists of farmyard manure 15 kg, Urea 1.5 kg, superphosphate 9 kg as basal and Urea 1kg, potash 0.5 kg was applied during top dressing), Biodynamic( T2 ­ treatment consist of biodynamic compost each 40 kg applied during basal and top dressing),Organic ( T3 treatment consists of farmyard manure and vermicompost each 20 kg were appliedduring basal and top dressing), and inorganic practice ( T4­ treatment consists of urea 2.5 kg, superphosphate and potash each at 1.5 kg respectively applied as basal and top dressing to the soil.) wereunder taken.During the 25 th and 50 th Day after planting, plant protection measures were followed for okra andonion and the details are given below:  Treatment5 th Day ( ml spray) 50 th Day ( ml spray)T1   Endosulphan ( 25)   Monocil (10 )T2   BD 501,CPPCow urine (300)&Datura extract (1000) T3   Cow urine (300)   Datura extract (1000 )T4   Endosulphan ( 25)   Monocil (10)   BIOMETRICAL ANALYSIS The okra’s biometric analysis such as plant height (shoot& root length), No of flowers/ plant, No. of fruit/ plant, No. of seeds/ fruit, fruit yield and stack yield were recorded at 10 days interval. Theonion biometric analysis such as plant height, dry matter production, No of bulbs/ plant, weight of bulb/plant, bulb yield (Fresh & dried) and stack yield were recorded The observation on the carrotgrowth parameters like plant height, root length, root girth, dry biomass, and total root yield wererecorded at every 10 days interval upto the 90 th DAS (at the time of harvesting). At eachobservation 20 plants were randomly selected and recorded.
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