Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Solving the mystery of FPS (Foot,Pound,Second) and CGS (cm,gram,second) systems!

Apart from paddy waste manure, we also plan on making some coir manure from coir pith waste. Fortunately, there is a coir factory near our farm that manufactures coir pith and the plant manager was kind enough to give us 80 tractor loads for FREE. We procured the waste last week and we are in process of sieving it before we decompose it.

The process became even more interesting when we referred to "experts" in the field regarding the bed sizes we should make. We talked to 5 different professors and their proposed bed sizes ranged from 3m x 3m to 6m x 3m and the height ranged from 6 inches to 1 ft. However, the most intriguing part was that all of them talked about 100 Kg of waste per layer (it is a multi layer process), and 300 gms of Plurotis/layer and 1 Kg of Urea/layer.

So the mystery was how in the world can you have 100 Kg of waste in beds that are almost twice as much in length and height. There had to be some missing link some where. Fortunately, I still remember my Class 9 physics formula - Density = Mass/Volume and the two engineers in the house (my dad and  I) got working.

So we got a carton and filled it up with sieved waste and weighed it. Mass was 5.8 Kg and Volume was 0.865 ft ^3..In other words density was 5.8/.865 = 6.7 Kg/ft^3
Having established the density, and keeping the magic number 100Kg constant, we found that the volume of bed should really be approx 15ft^3

What we found was that the dimension of bed should have been 5ft by 3ft (and 1 ft height) and NOT 5m by 3m. Unfortunately, the flaw in TNAU guidelines still exists and probably scores of batches have graduated without realizing it and our so called experts are following it blindly. 

It is amazing how information spreads fast but misinformation spreads faster. In this day and age, where information is available by googling, one needs to be diligent about interpreting information. Maybe I should bring this up to the TNAU dean - maybe I will be conferred with an honorary doctarate :)

Mounds of Coir waste

Coir Pith block that was transported accidentally (probably a reject). People practise floriculture on this in the west, especially Europe!

Sieved Coir waste which will undergo decomposition soon.

More info on cooking some coir manure in another post - stay tuned!


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