In organic crop production, you would keenly agree with me that fertilizer and pesticide are the most limiting resources during the production process. However, rabbit urine can be a very cheap solution to this production problem as it can be used as fertilizer and pesticide. It would not only help to reduce the high cost of organic farming but also increases the quantity and quality of the crop produced.
It is important you find means to control pests and increase the fertility of the soil if you truly want to be successful as an organic farmer; not just any means but a cheap means. I am sure you do not want to produce at a high cost. One of the cheapest sources of fertilizer and pesticide in organic farming is the use of rabbit urine.
Rabbit used to be reared as a pet but the nutritional composition of rabbit meat has created an untapped market for rabbit production. Farmers now rear rabbit for meat and wool; further studies have shown that rabbit urine can also serve as fertilizer and pesticide, improving the soil fertility of the soil and controlling unruly crop pests, simultaneously. There is no waste in rabbit production.
Composition Of Rabbit Urine
Rabbit droppings are rich sources of the primary nutrients needed by plants, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Rabbit waste is the end form of rabbit feed; rabbits are normally fed with greens, which they convert effectively to a rich matter as a result of the fermentation that takes place in their caecum.
Rabbit urine contains the highest level of Nitrogen compared to other farm animals; this is because rabbits barely drink water. The Phosphorus and Potassium contents in rabbit urine are of appreciable level good enough to eliminate deficiencies of these nutrients in the soil, hence, it enhances the even growth of crops in an organic farm.
The microelements can also be sources from rabbit urine in good quantities because rabbit, after eating, produces soft-pellet feaces rich in amino acids and minerals, through a process called caecotrophy. These soft pellet feaces is re-ingested by the rabbit to supply or supplement the nutritional need of the rabbit.
Crops You Can Use Rabbit Urine As Fertilizer And Pesticide
Because rabbit urine is very rich in nitrogen, it is very effective on vegetable crops like cabbage, lettuces, cucumber, watermelon, and other vegetables at any stage of growth. It can also be used at the early stage of other crops like maize.
How To Apply Rabbit Urine As Fertilizer
Here comes the subject of discussion. Like other fertilizers; there are some processes and precautions you must take when you want to apply rabbit urine as fertilizer.
Firstly, you need to either get the urine, directly from your rabbit farm or purchase from rabbit farmers. A mature rabbit can produce up to 250ml of urine per day; five (5) mature rabbits can produce up to one (1) liter of urine per day.
Do not apply the rabbit urine directly on the crops, it is highly concentrated and can scorch your crop; you need to dilute with water for safe use. Rabbit urine is best used as fertilizer by mixing it with water at a ratio of 1:5; that is, one (1) liter of the urine to five (5) liters of water.
There are different methods of fertilizer application, depending on the type and nature of the fertilizer you want to apply. Because rabbit urine fertilizer is in liquid form, it is best applied using fertigation or foliar application.
Fertigation is a method of applying liquid fertilizer through irrigation water; you mix the urine in the irrigation water at the recommended rate as stated earlier. Foliar application is another method of applying fertilizers in liquid form through the leaves and stem of the plant.
In fertigation, the rabbit urine is diluted with the irrigation water and it is applied to the root zone using drip tubes or other means. Alternatively, the foliar application applies the fertilizer to the leaves, stems, at times, root region.
The advantages of fertigation are; it is easy to achieve, less time consuming and application is done to the roots directly where the plants utilize it. The advantage of the foliar application is; it allows the plants to have easy access to the fertilizer, thereby, enhancing the perfect utilization of the fertilizer. Plants absorb the fertilizers through parts like lenticels, stomata aside from the roots. Although, it could be stressful and time-consuming.
For the conventional 16 liters sprayer, you need 3.2 liters of rabbit urine to 16 liters of water for perfect use.
Alternatively, you can add some materials to the rabbit urine to make it more effective and nutritionally better. You can mix the rabbit urine with maize starch and molasses and allow to ferment for 3 weeks before using it.
After 3 weeks, the fertilizer is ready for use but at a different rate of application. Dilute one liter of this mixture in 20 liters of water. You can apply using any of the aforementioned methods of fertilizer application.
How To Apply Rabbit Urine As Pesticide
Rabbit urine can also be used as an organic pesticide. The difference between synthetic pesticides and organic pesticides is just their reaction with the target pests.
Synthetic pesticides kill the pests which, at times, may be beneficial to the plants in terms of pollination while organic pesticides repel the pests from the plant. Rabbit urine is an organic pesticide as it repels the insect pests through its pungent smell.
Rabbit urine repels insect pests like aphids, mites, bugs, leaf miners, bugs and other crop pests of economic importance. You can only enjoy the pesticide effect of rabbit urine when you apply using the foliar application. It does the work of fertilizer and pest control.
Advantages of using rabbit urine as fertilizers and pesticides
The following are the merits of using rabbit urine as fertilizers and pesticides:
- It can be cheaply sourced
- It contains a high level of nitrates, which the plants can derive enough nitrogen from.
- It is environmental friendly and non-toxic.
Rabbit production can be very lucrative as it can create multiple streams of income; if you rear rabbit for meat, you can as well try to add the urine as an additional enterprise and source of income. Even if you do not have the passion for crop production, you can sell to organic crop farmers at reasonable prices.
With rabbit urine, the problem of fertilization and pest attack in organic farming can be resolved at a low cost.
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