Patented innovation for improved soil fertility without using fertilizers

by Badhri on Aug 19, 2010      Category: Food & Water Tags: agriculture innovation soil fertility

Chinthala Venkata Reddy's "technique is simple. He allows the grass to grow and at the drip points use some dung. The continuous drip of water combined with dung would allow earthworms to grow."

""Farmers waste a lot of money on weedicides and thereby the pesticide residue in grapes would also grow causing harm to those who consume the fruit. Use natural methods to improve fertility and it would not only benefit the farmer but also the consumer,” he says."

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Narayana Hegde's picture

I am quite sceptical about the claims. Cowdung is not compost or manure. Of course it will provide Nitrogen. But regular application of cowdung, without Phosphorous and Potash, will cause imbalance in the soil. Initially the grape vines may grow well. But in the long run the yield will certainly decrease.

Badhri's picture

I am no expert in this matter (but I am assuming you are!). But the article says

"“The secret lies in the earthworms. These worms increase the soil fertility. When they die they would become compost and further improve the fertility." So, may be the answer to your question lies in earthworms, rather than cow dung?

kishanbhat's picture

With the little details given + assumptions:
IF the earthworm + cow dung ( + cow urine?) is making more Phosphorous and Potash *bio-available* then Mr.Reddy is happy in the short term that he allowed grass to grow => no weeds => he does not have to use weedicides. With grass not leaving the soil bare (I see in the photo) earthworms would flourish.

But yeah in the long run, you have to put in minerals that you take out.

and replacing existing weeds with grass over time and maintaining it over large areas is back breaking work. that is why the herbicides sell because they are programmed NOT to target what you want to grow.

Narayana Hegdee's picture

Dear Sri Badri,
Thank you for your frank opinion. I am also not an expert. But we were the first to start Vermi Composting in our district. We had invited Dr.Radha Kale & Dr.Kubra Bhanu of UAS, Bangalore and had started the unit. Subsequently, Dr.L.A.Dixit of UAS Dharwad, who is retired now has shown us how compost becomes cheaper than Vermi compost. Further, most of the claims regarding Vermi-compost are not scientifically proven.
We have brought out three books of Dr.L.A.Dixit entitled - Organic Fertilizers, Bio-fertilizers and Vermiculture (unfortunately all the three are in Kannada). His first work Proper Usage of Chemical Fertilizers (also in Kannada) is published by UAS, Bangalore. That book clearly explains the advantages as well as limitations of all types of fertilizers.
Please note that the problem does not lie with usage of fertilizers. The problem is with pesticides & insecticides. Even if you apply fertilizers in organic format (like compost & manure), the plants will absorb them in chemical form only. So, the arguement about chemical fertilzers and organic fertilizers is quite misleading. Having lost 4 crops by strictly following organic agriculture, we strongly feel that there is necessity of following a rational agriculture than notional agriculture. Being a farmer, I would suggest that we should follow a middle path instead of taking extreme views.

xnngla's picture

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