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This is an organic substance. The age-old practice of Indian farmers to add cow-dung to soil is equivalent to adding organic substances to the soil. Manure is obtained by microbial decomposition of plant and animal wastes. 

They offer the following advantages:

1. They contain nutrients of biological origin.

2. Being granular, they maintain soil texture for proper aeration and penetration of roots.

3. They increase the water-holding capacity of the soil.

4. Being organic in nature, they maintain the optimum microbial activity of the soil, which is important for soil health.

One disadvantage, however, is that their storage and transportation are not convenient. This is because of their being voluminous.

In using manure we use biological waste material, which is advantageous in protecting our environment from excessive use of fertilizers. Using biological waste material is also a way of recycling farm waste. 


Classification of Manure

Based on the kind of biological material used, manure can be classified as follows:

(i) Compost and Vermi-Compost
The process in which farm waste material like livestock excreta (cow dung etc.), vegetable waste, animal refuse, domestic waste, sewage waste, straw, eradicated weeds etc. is decomposed in pits is known as composting. The compost is rich in organic matter and nutrients. Compost is also prepared by using earthworms to hasten the process of decomposition of plant and animal refuse. This is called vermi-compost. 

(ii) Green Manure
Prior to the sowing of the crop seeds, some plants like sun hemp or guar are grown and then mulched by ploughing them into the soil. These green plants thus turn into green manure which helps in enriching the soil in nitrogen and phosphorus.


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