Black plastic covered farmyard manure

Improving farmyard manure (FYM) by covering it with black plastic sheeting to provide a favourable environment for microbial activities, and to conserve available nutrients and moisture

Applying compost or farmyard manure (FYM) is an excellent way of maintaining and building soil fertility. Considerable nutrient losses often occur through the inappropriate handling or storage of compost and FYM. Drying out causes losses through volatilisation and rainfall whilst runoff causes leaching and the washing out of nutrients. To reduce nutrient losses, farmyard manure needs to be protected from direct sunlight, rainfall, run-on, and runoff. 

A number of improved composting methods have been tested and demonstrated with farmers in the Jhikhu Khola watershed. The Sustainable Soil Management Project (SSMP) has recommended black plastic-covered farmyard manure as one of the most promising methods. Farmyard manure is covered with a piece of black plastic to prevent nutrients from leaching out, to decrease evaporation losses, and to provide a more favourable environment for the growth of microbes due to the increased temperature and moisture content. This method is especially suitable for areas with low temperatures.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP16

Location: Panchkhal, Patalekhet, Hokse, Baluwa, Sathighar, and Kabhre VDCs and Dhulikhel municipality of the Jhikhu Khola watershed, Kabhrepalanchok district, Nepal

Technology area: ~ 1-10 km2

SWC measure: Management

Land use: Annual cropping

Climate: Humid subtropical

Related approach: Not described

Compiled by: Madhav Dhakal, ICIMOD

Date: November 2006