Manure

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Manure is organic matter used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, that are trapped by bacteria in the soil. Higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that comprises the soil food web.

In the past the term "manure" included inorganic fertilizers, but this usage is now very rare.[1][Full citation needed]

Contents

Types

There are three main classes of manures used in soil management:

Animal manures

Most animal manure is feces. Common forms of animal manure include farmyard manure (FYM) or farm slurry (liquid manure). FYM also contains plant material (often straw), which has been used as bedding for animals and has absorbed the feces and urine. Agricultural manure in liquid form, known as slurry, is produced by more intensive livestock rearing systems where concrete or slats are used, instead of straw bedding. Manure from different animals may have different qualities and require different application rates, such as manure from farm animals such as horses, cattle, pigs or sheep, chicken and turkey manures, rabbit manure, human sewage and guano from seabirds and bats.[2]. For instance, sheep manure is high in nitrogen and potash, and pig manure is relatively low in both. Horse manure also contains lots of weed seeds, as horses do not digest seeds the way that cattle do. Chicken manure, even when well rotted, is very concentrated and should be used sparingly.

Animal manures may also include other animal products, such as wool shoddy (and other hair), feathers, blood and bone.

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