Cow urine can be used as a low cost alternative to chemical pesticides and fertilizers
These days, when people are apprehensive of the negative impacts created by the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture, cattle urine can be a good solution. When fermented for 15 days along with neem (Azadirachta indica), cattle urine can be sprayed over the agricultural field to repel insects. Sap-feeding pests and foliar insects can be better controlled by spraying cattle urine and with fewer adverse effects than those presented by traditional pesticides.
A separate study also suggests that cattle urine has antifungal properties against Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotium rolfsii, the organisms responsible for the major fungal diseases one usually encounters out in the field. A research study suggests that rhizome rot pathogens Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. zinziberi, Pythium aphanidermatum and Ralstonia solanacearum can be efficiently managed using cow urine extracts.
Alternative to chemical pesticides
The world would be better off if we used less chemical pesticides due to their potentially harmful side effects – their long-lasting residual effect makes the case more serious. Studies suggest one of the major flaws of chemical pesticide misuse is the declination of pollinator insects, which is not the case of cow urine. Use pee, save a bee!
According to H.P. University, entomology laboratory, cow urine along with Vitex negundo and Ferula asafetida can be an eco-friendly way of controlling insects and pests that affect wheat and paddy crops. The same laboratory also concluded that cabbage aphids can be drastically reduced using an ash and soil mixture along with cow urine.
“Cow urine and water at 1:5 solutions, when sprayed in the field drastically reduces the population of aphids in the field,” said Mr. Rajendra Regmi, assistant professor of the department of Entomology at the Agriculture and Forestry University in Rampur, Nepal.
Furthermore, he added that technicians have been recommending Jhol mol, a locally fermented product in Nepal, by using cow urine along with the leaves of neem (Azadirachta indica), and few grams of garlic cloves, onions, ginger and sweet flag (Acorus calamus) to spray over the standing crops so as to control the insects. Experiments conducted on sit revealed that aphids and beetles can be better controlled using this method.
Use as a fertilizer
Diluted cattle urine with 10 parts of water per unit part of urine can be used as an organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers use cattle dung and urine in ample amounts. It may be due to the fact that cattle urine is a good source of urea. A study from Vishwa Ayurvedic Parishad shows that cattle urine consists of 95% water, 2.5 % urea and the remaining 2.5 % a mixture of minerals, salts, hormones and enzymes.
Nitrogen makes up 46% of urea. Demand for nitrogen, a necessary and most often abused nutrient can be significantly reduced using cattle urine as fertilizer. Furthermore, the salt and minerals found in urine help to compensate the micro nutrient deficiency in the plants
Such fertilizers, when supplied through drip irrigation, bring the additional benefit of efficient absorption of nitrogen by plants.
South Asian countries like Nepal and India have been using cattle urine and dung as a fertilizer for thousands of years. However, with the advancement of science, farmers are using those excreta in a more effective way.
For instance, a cattle-based product called panchagavya is prepared by fermenting a mixture of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee. This product is targeted basically to organic farmers who want to enhance the fertility of their soil.
Such organic fertilizers have a great role in maintaining soil structure as well as enhancing the growth of beneficial soil organisms. Chemical fertilizers do not offer these advantages. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers actually spoil the soil structure and upset microbial life balance in the soil.
“Cow urine helps develop plant resistance and panchagavya helps to favor the growth of soil bacteria, which brings enhancement in soil fertility,” said Joseph Matthew, who is in charge of an instructional farm in Pookot.
In countries like Nepal, where most of the rural farmers own at least one cow and maintain their own garden, using cattle excreta in the garden seems feasible. Moreover, use of cattle urine not only controls harmful insects but also reduces the financial burden of purchasing chemicals and related materials, which is beneficial for low land holding farmers.