Manure vs Organic Matter
Plants are the main primary producers in our ecosystems. They are important for supplying food for other animals, and also participate in maintaining the natural equilibrium. Like us, plants also need food and water to grow. Plants depend on the soil for food, water and habitat. Therefore, the soil needs to be in healthy condition, and organic matter is necessary to maintain the quality of soil.
Organic matter is the collection of carbonic compounds derived from plants, animals, micro organisms, etc. The living organisms in the soil or the parts that have been added to soil by plants or animals do not count as organic matter. The material that living organisms add into soil is decomposed by micro organisms, and the resulting product (humus) is considered as organic matter. Plants contribute more to the organic matter. Organic matter contains a lot of nutrients. Nutrient exchange through organic matter and soil is essential for soil fertility. Organic matter affects the physical and chemical properties of soil, moisture holding capacity of soil, biological activity of soil organisms, plant growth ability, etc.
Manure is organic matter, which contains essential nutrients that are needed to increase the soil health. Manure is a good fertilizer, specially containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are the macro elements, which are essential for plant growth. There are three main types of manure, animal manure, plant manure, and compost. Animal manure is feces and urine added by animals to the soil. Animal manure can be largely collected from farms raising cows, horses, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats etc. The nitrogen and other nutrient contents in each type of manure differ according to the type of animal, their feeding habits etc. For example, chicken manure is the richest animal manure with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Furthermore, Horse manure is richer in nitrogen than cow manure and cow manure has low nutrient quantities. It is not advisable to put raw animal manure directly onto the soil, as the releasing of ammonia and nitrogen compounds may harmful to plants. The manure should be aged for few months before using them. Plant manure is plants, which grows to add nutrient to the soil. These types of plants are grown for a certain period of time, and then they are plowed and added to the soil. The crops with root nodules, which have symbiotically nitrogen fixing bacteria are good for this purpose. Oat, clover, mustard are few examples for crops used as plant manure. When plant and animal matter are decomposed, they are known as compost. Compost is rapidly formed under moist and hot conditions. Compost is an excellent fertilizer for plants and it is rich with all the nutrients and organic compounds.
What is the difference between Organic Matter and Manure?
¤ There are three types of manure. Animal and plant manure, which are directly added into soil are not considered as organic matter. But the decomposed compost can be considered as organic matter.
¤ It takes a long time to make organic matter or humus from the animal and plant material that have been added to soil.