A Young Farmer’s Fertilizer Program for Hot Peppers.


By Jonathan Mohan

I visited a 28 year old farmer planting hot peppers in a rural area south of Trinidad. His fertilizer program included the use of poultry manure (sawdust, wood shavings, and poultry fecal matter) and NPK granules application. Manures contain the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) that make up fertilizer.

Chemical water based fertilizers, releases ammonium (NH4+) ions and nitrates quickly into the soil and a problem being faced with this is that nutrients leach out of the soil. This does not maintain the long term health of the soil.  Manure will slowly to release nitrogen, which contributes to healthy plant growth, phosphorus which helps to develop healthy roots and potassium contributing to the formation of chlorophyll.

The nitrogen content in the manure comes from uric acid, ammonium salts, and organic (fecal) matter. Uric acid, readily changes to ammonia (NH3), a gaseous form of nitrogen that can evaporate. To decrease this loss of nitrogen the farmer rotovated the manure after spreading into the soil during ground preparation. This will convert the ammonia to ammonium, which will attach itself to clay particles and organic matter. Poultry manure in particular is ‘hot’ which means putting it directly on the plant can burn the leaves and kill the plant. This is the reason why the farmer firstly spread the manure dispersing it across a large area of land so as to prevent any accumulation in one area. When the hot pepper plants were transplanted the plants did not ‘burn’ away.

An economic analysis done by the farmer showed that the use of manure will decrease the costs incurred from buying large amounts of overpriced fertilizer while yet maintaining the maximum yields. In this particular case a poultry farm existed in the area of the hot pepper farmer so transportation and application costs were low for the manure. This is just one of the examples showing how rural farmers are using natural means of reducing farming costs.

See pictures attached of hot peppers being planted at this rural farm.



Sourced here:  http://fertilizermarkets.tumblr.com/post/72436634824/a-young-farmers-fertilizer-program-for-hot-peppers



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