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Green manures, cover crops and nitrogen fixing trees

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Hi TT 

You're up bright and early and on the ball as usual !! Afraid my caffiene levels haven't reached their optimum levels yet !!

I knew I should of written it all myself instead of using the old cut and paste :o !!

I take it you're refering to the figures in the quoted text and are comparing it to the amount of urea used in conventional farming I believe urea is usually spread at rates of between 40 and 300 kg/ha I agree that the green manure is very low. Maybe the hairy vetch was a bad example may be other crops produce a greater bio-mass (I'll try and see if there is a green manure here in Thailand giving better results) or perhaps it is simply the case that green manures can't match chemical inputs even slightly !! It definitely bears some further research and as I said I'm gonna try and find out the nitrogen content/ bio-mass etc. of some that are available.

Thanks for pointing this out TT I'll try to read more fully anything I post and especially concerning any maths ( definitely one of my weak points ). I'm also working on a very small scale and talk of hectares and application rates boggle my brain on occasions :D  !! Good to know we have the likes of you to help pick up on these sort of things  :D !!

I think I picked up on the fact that often companies add filler to urea to add bulk to the fertiliser ( possibly from a MaizeFarmer post ) do you have any knowledge you could share on this ?? Obviously it could affect the figures. I found this site nitrogen sources which contained this "Dry pelletized urea is popular as a nitrogen fertilizer compared to other forms because of its relatively high nitrogen content (46% of the total weight is nitrogen), good storage and handling properties, and widespread availability." Any hands on experience or just knowledge you have to help seperate the "facts from myths" would be especially appreciated as I'm starting to get a little out of my "comfort zone" on the matter !!  

 cheers mate J

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Gawd....Haha...it's me who needs the caffine jandtaa. Urea is 280% protien and I've gone and used that in the figures.

90lbs nitrogen is 41 kilos urea per acre. Still on the low side. Urea is 46-0-0 NPK. Every 50 kilo bag contains 23 kilos nitrogen.

The rest is just a carrier (filler).

Abject apologies my friend.

Regards.

Edit: Here's a nice little on for you.

http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/Database.asp

Give stylo at up to 214lbs per acre.

Edited by teletiger

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Ha ha !!

No need for apologies TT !! You did however send me off on a three hour googlethon and a reread of all my PDF's so something positive from the confusion !! I just spent about an hour composing a post with loads of info and links plus all the advantages and disadvantages I could find (like you I think it is neccessary to have both discussed) and as I submited it my connection dropped and the post was lost to the nether regions of cyber-space  :D:o !! I'll try and re-do it later (using a text editor this time)as right now my brain aches (sometimes it's good to get outside ones comfort zone !!) and it feels like beer O'clock  :D !!

P.S. if you've managed to get that "techno-translator" invention of yours working send it my way 

http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/sa/v63n5/31405fr1.gif

also could you let me have the formula you are using to work out the urea content it would be really useful !! and thanks for the link

cheers fella J

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Just had a look at the site Teletiger posted a link for in his previous post and recommend you all take a look !! Its the most comprehensive site I've yet seen on green manure and cover crops in the tropics !! A great example of members doing a bit of their own research to benefit the rest of us. I've researched this fairly thoroughly but google has never taken me here ?? Great stuff TT I might be able to scale down the aforementioned post I was gonna do and enjoy my beer :o !!

Edit : I've now read the site and won't even bother posting !! this link will go into the "useful links, resources and recommended reading" thread I'm working on

cheers J

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UHDP has indigoferra seeds.

Cheers

Good to see you in the forum Jeff

the ag shop in CR just before ban cheewit mai bakery looks to have recently expanded it's range (could just be the time of year ) and was selling two sizes of rice bean (the larger one was what I call red kidney bean) two sizes of black bean (I chose the smaller of both varieties) as well as soya bean, mung bean and a couple of others I couldn't identify (it was just chance that I noticed on passing and didn't have my list with me !!). they were all selling for 20 baht a kilo and 25 for the larger sized beans. Also had a good range of mushroom spore (thats for a later time) and EM and molasses.Good idea to save seed I hope to be able to do the same ! Haven't tracked down any indigoferra seed as yet considering bringing some back from the UK .

regards Jandtaa

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I don't know about your area or about current availability, but in Chiang Mai I got free jack-bean seeds from the 'Land Development Office' (about 10k north of the SuperHwy on the Mae Rim (107) hwy, on the west (Doi Pui) side between the hospital and the (121) ring road).

At that time they had black beans, sesbania and others too. We didn't need a 'tabien baan', only my wife's ID, filled out a form with address and amount of rai. They calculated coverage rates and based the allotment on that; we pulled around back with the pickup and they loaded us up with the appropriate number of sacks of seed. I was only seeding about 4 rai, so I don't know what their upper limit is.

The land development office also does free soil analysis. The only problem is that it takes 45 days (sent to Lampang) and is a very basic NPK report with no interpretation or recommendations. I get better, more complete, 2 week soil analysis reports from Mae Jo University soil science department for 500 baht. And they have a soil science professor available to interpret and make recommendations for amendments if needed.

But you don't need a soil analysis to 'green manure'. don

I don't know why i never gave you a thanks on this posting but appreciate the doctoring help Dr. we will definitely be visiting the Land Development Office this year before any purchases. thanks for the info.

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Gawd....Haha...it's me who needs the caffine jandtaa. Urea is 280% protien and I've gone and used that in the figures.

90lbs nitrogen is 41 kilos urea per acre. Still on the low side. Urea is 46-0-0 NPK. Every 50 kilo bag contains 23 kilos nitrogen.

The rest is just a carrier (filler).

Abject apologies my friend.

Regards.

Edit: Here's a nice little on for you.

http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/Database.asp

Give stylo at up to 214lbs per acre.

Thanks for this link. I've used the Rye (cerail grain) to cover before and it was extremely good. Nice to read what others say, it is one of my favorites and would be great fun to get into a half ton of seed. Know where to find any anyone (very reasonably priced normally)?????

I'm offf to try to dig up the botaical on my sun hemp seeds as that part of the thread helped answerr a few questions that I was pondering. i shall return. Forever in a Ford

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Hi FF

yeah my old man uses rye grass in the UK on beds that have an invasive weed problem. Rye grass has alleopathic properties link to wikipedia as does indeed does rice. By the use of three plantings of rye and buckwheat (I think) he has had good success in removing the weeds. I agree it would be good to find a source out here. I'm also looking into using bamboo and eucalyptus leaves as a mulch/herbicide but need more info on whether they will also harm soil micro-organisms. Got in some green manure yesterday and there was more rain last night so hopefully I can finish the job today !!  

cheers for now 

J

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UHDP has indigoferra seeds.

Cheers

Hey Jeff, good to see you on the forum. I was thinking about posting your website for the benefit of all, what do you think.

What's UHDP? don

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Jandtaa, re allelopathy (growth retardant properties of certain plants) For what it's worth, my plant pathology professor, after 50 years of directing graduate students on research projects at UC Berkeley, said that his observations showed that Eucalyptus didn't show true allelopathic properties like say black walnut (Juglans sp). Leaves used as mulch or composted did not retard growth of other plants when used outside of the context of the dense shade and heavy rooting of a Eucalyptus grove.

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^Thanks Don that saves me some time I'll concentrate on the bamboo !

J

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^Thanks Don that saves me some time I'll concentrate on the bamboo !

J

I suspect that with many plants that are thought to have allelopathic properties, the growth retarding aspect is due more to competition for light, water and nutrients than to chemical growth suppression. So don't count on it with bamboo or others unless your experience or review of solid research proves otherwise.

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I've been trying to improve the soil in my little plot and have recently dug in a fair amount of semi composted water plants from the river. Also some matured cow manure. I just had to get some organic matter into the soil before the rain moves in with a vengeance.

I planted Tua Dam, black beans into these areas with the thought of digging this in later.

I'm just a little confused with the nitrogen fixing abilities of the bean. Now, from reading some of the excellent posts and links here, I understand that legumes will only fix nitrogen in the soil if a certain innoculant is present. I also understand that it is 3 or 4 weeks after germination that the plant will start to fix nitrogen.

What is not clear to me is the plants ability to absorb nitrogen from the air. If there is no innoculant present, can the plant still absorb nitrogen from the air or does it take all its needs from the soil? If all its nitrogen comes from the soil, then there would be no gain, in fact a loss as some nitrogen would be lost to the air when composting.

I hope that somebody can clear this up for me.

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loong, My take on it has always been that legumes will take nitrogen from the air and fix it into nodes in their roots. This nitrogen will not be available to the soil until the plant dies and decomposes. (usually about 12 months...maybe faster in the tropics) The innoculant is needed for seed germination? All growing legumes will fix atmospheric nitrogen. Not 100% though.

"What did you do during the Thai civil war Grandad?"...."Why, Googled seed innoculants of course".

Regards.

Edit:..Quick look and I was wrong. The innoculant is for development of the nodules as you thought.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/Pubs/crops/00305.html

happy Sonkran.

Edited by teletiger

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I've read the link Teletiger and it seems to be much the same as other sites. I have not been able to find any information as to whether Legumes can actually absorb nitrogen from the air if no innoculant present and a nitrogen deficiency in the soil.

Also can anybody tell me what Tua Dam, black beans are in English. If I google I only get references to black eyed beans or peas and these are not either.

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