Coir pith compost
Coir Pith is a by product of coconut husk. After the coir fibers are extracted, the remaining dust is called the coir pith or coir dust. the coir dust is high in Carbon content. the dust is not useful for any other purpose but agriculture. Unfortunately, direct use of raw, unprocessed coir dust is not suitable for agriculture either due to its high carbon content. Reducing the carbon content and increasing the nitrogen content is key to using Coir dust for agricultural purpose.
Coir dust is porous, soft and helps aerate the soil and loosen them. Direct use without composting though will be nly beneficial in loosening the soil but with no nutritive values. Increasing the level of nitrogen requires that the coir dust be composted. The process of composting coir dust is time consuming and takes at least 60 days for the full process. The processed coir dust is not easy to purchase and is often expensive for farmers to buy. the easier and the cheapest option is to make them in your own farm.
Composting coir dust goes throgugh various phases and these are explained well in the TNAU webiste at https://agritech.tnau.ac.in. the process, though easy, is time consuming and require very little raw materials except for the coir dust itself. Though a roofing is recommended, its not necessary if you have a shaded area and its not monson. Rains or harsh sunshine can interfere with the process of composting Coir dust.
Buy Coir Pith compost online
There are plenty of sources online to buy Coir pith compost or Coir dust too. National Coir, Pattanaiki, Puri, Odisha is one of the few good sources from where you can buy coir pith compost online. The company delivers in 2-3 days and the cost for a bag of 40 KG is 160 Rs. Delivery charges will apply and the minimum quantity is at least 4 bags.
How to make coir pith compost.
To make one tonne of coir pith compost, you will need one tonne of coir dust, 5 liter pleurotus and 5 Kilos of urea. you do not need a shed or pit to create coir pith compost and thus makes it easier for anyone with open space to do so. shade is important and keeping the coir pith humid is key for faster process.
- Spread the 1 tonne of coir dust in 4 feet by 4 feet (length by width)
- sprinkle 1 Liter of Pleurotus liquide over the layer
- Spread 1 tonne over the first layer
- Spread 1 KG of urea over the second layer
- Repeat by alternating the pleurotus Spawn and urea over each 1 tonne layer
- Water the mix thoroughly. 60% humidity is required. If you take a hand full of the mix and squeeze it, you should find no excess water.
- Leave for 30 days, mixing the pith every 10 days to aerate it.
- Ensure no excess heat is generated.
- the Compost will be ready when the matter turns dark brown/Black and gives out an earthy smell.
A detailed composting process is available in video format below
What is the use of Coir pith compost
Why is coir pith compost so important in farming and agriculture. The explanation is better explained with an example and comparison of a farming practise with and without coir pith compost but keeping all other factors same.
One research was conducted on maize plants and the results were an astonishing 15% increase in Yield by just adding coir pith compost to the field. This meant a 5300 Rs increase in revenue per hectare with the use of coir pith. The size of each corn cob was 21 cm as opposed to 17 cm in normal cultivation. The plant size was 184 centimetters as opposed to 158 cm in a field without coir pith compost. Also the number of grains per ear was higher when the coir pith compost was used.
complete details on the research is available on http://www.cswcrtiweb.org
Note for farmers : while compost may be entirely organic, its not a good idea to use half composted coir pith or use compost in excess for your plants. Coir pith compost or normal compost can deter plant growth and affect your crop negatively if used in excess.