Lost urine means lower yields
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CTA. 1994. Lost urine means lower yields. Spore 52. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49448
The trend to zero-grazing and intensive livestock production has important implications for the cycling of nutrients: it is leading to crop land being denied valuable urine. Under many traditional systems in sub-Saharan Africa, livestock graze crop...
The trend to zero-grazing and intensive livestock production has important implications for the cycling of nutrients: it is leading to crop land being denied valuable urine. Under many traditional systems in sub-Saharan Africa, livestock graze crop residues on arable land during the dry season and thus return nutrients directly to the soil. However, animals that are zero-grazed have their feed brought to them, with the manure being returned to the land later. This increases labour but more importantly the system disrupts the flow of nutrients. Studies over the last three years by the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) are showing that when the manure is returned to the land it is missing one important component urine. With stall-fed animals urine is not held by the accumulating manure. Its absence is having a dramatic effect on crop yields. When millet grown in a field trial received manure alone, yields were 2.9 tonnes of dry matter per hectare. Crops grown on land which had been grazed by cattle yielded 7 3 tonnes of dry matter per hectare. Similar results were obtained from land on which sheep were grazed. When crops recevied urine, yields increased by 73%. The urine effect is still evident if the animals are confined to the land for only one year in three. ILCA PO Box 5689 Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA