Mineral Content Enrichment
Cow dung contains 5.0 ± 0.30 of phosphorus, 8.8 ± 0.33 g/kg of potassium, 1,859 ± 19 mg/kg of iron, 234 ± 15 mg/kg of copper, 110 ± 9 mg/kg of zinc and 84 ± 3.8 mg/kg of chromium. However, requirements of these mineral nutrients for the effective growth of crops should be (Yadav et al. 2013):
- • Phosphorus: 10.0 g/kg
- • Potassium: 10.0 g/kg
- • Iron: 1900 mg/kg
- • Copper: 270 mg/kg
- • Zinc: 115 mg/kg
- • Chromium: 100 mg/kg.
Excreta from entire fauna diversity existing in Indian forests were capable to enrich soil with enough mineral micronutrients for growth and immune system development of crops in farms, in ancient times.
Organic Matter Stability and Surface Enlargement
Soils enriched with nitrogen and mineral nutrients are able to produce bumper crops with good quality in farms, on condition that organic matter in soils is stabilised and atmospheric oxygen is available to plant roots. Therefore, properly enlarged surface areas for action, turnover and physical or mechanical aeration are required. A few species of earthworms can effectively determine the increase of superficial areas. As a consequence, organic matter is easily degraded and nitrogen contents increase.
It is worth mentioning that the Indian subcontinent was almost uniformly covered in ancient times with dense forests (52 shaktipeetha, also called singhkshetra or lion territories) and dense pastures (12 Jyotirlinga, also called nandikshetra or bull territories). Therefore, the cropland soil naturally received organic manure in the forms of wild fauna and cattle excreta (urine and dung) as well as possessing a range of biodiversity of earthworms. Needless to say, this type of farm soil biodiversity easily contributes to optimum aeration for organic matter degradation and nitrogen enrichment, necessary for bumper qualitative crop production. The efficacy of vermicomposting as an eco-friendly and sustainable procedure has been reported recently (Yadav et al. 2013).