Simplification of urea treatment method of wheat straw for its better adoption by the farmers
Limited use of cereal straws in livestock feeding is due to their low voluntary intake, low protein contents and low digestibility. Nutritional value of these roughages can be improved through chemical or physical methods. Efficacy of treating straw with urea for improving its nutritive value is considered equivalent to anhydrous or aqueous ammonia. However, the adoption rate of urea treatment by farmers is low, maybe due to relatively tedious technology and higher requirement of labour. There is need to simplify urea treatment methods. In the present study an effort has been made to simplify the existing urea treatment method so that farmers could easily adopt this technique. The new method involves weighing the required amount of urea (4% of straw), mixing it with double the amount of farm manure (as urease source), giving 30% moisture by adding water, putting this mixture in a bag, piling the straw on the bag, again moistening the straw with water (50% of straw) and incubating this material for a month under the cover of plastic sheet or mud plaster. In this method three steps including preparation of urea solution, sprinkling of solution on straw and pressing the straw during treatment process, have been eliminated which resulted in saving labour by 55%. The efficiency of the new method, however, is about 30% less than the conventional urea treatment method.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
South African Journal of Animal Science