Organic Neem Cake
Neem has demonstrated considerable potential as a fertilizer. For this purpose, neem cake and neem leaves are especially promising
- It is used to enrich the soil by providing essential required nutrients. It also acts as a bio-fertilizer by providing the required nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus necessary for growing crops and plants.
- Neem cake has an adequate quantity of NPK in organic form for plant growth. Being a totally botanical product it contains 100% natural NPK content and other essential micro-nutrients: N(Nitrogen 2.0% to 5.0%), P(Phosphorus 0.5% to 1.0%), K(Potassium 1.0% to 2.0%), Ca(Calcium 0.5% to 3.0%), Mg(Magnesium 0.3% to 1.0%), S(Sulphur 0.2% to 3.0%), Zn(Zinc 15 ppm to 60 ppm), Cu(Copper 4 ppm to 20 ppm), Fe (Iron 500 ppm to 1200 ppm), Mn (Manganese 20 ppm to 60 ppm).
- It is rich in both sulfur compounds and bitter limonoids.
Mechanism of action
According to research calculations, neem cake seems to make the soil more fertile due to an ingredient that blocks soil bacteria from converting nitrogenous compounds into nitrogen gas. It is a nitrification inhibitor and prolongs the availability of nitrogen to both short duration and long duration crops.
Use as a fertilizer
Neem cake organic manure protects plant roots from nematodes, soil grubs, and white ants probably due to its residual limonoid content. It also acts as a natural fertilizer with pesticidal properties.
- Neem seed cake also reduces alkalinity in soil, as it produces organic acids on decomposition.
- Being totally natural, it is compatible with soil microbes and rhizosphere microflora and hence ensures the fertility of the soil.
- Neem cake improves the organic matter content of the soil, helping improve soil texture, water holding capacity, and soil aeration for better root development.
Neem cake is effective in the management of insects and pests. The bitter principles of the soil and cake have been reported to have seven types of activities (a) antifeedant (b) attractant (c) repellent (d) insecticide (e) nematicide (f) growth disruptor and (g) antimicrobial.
- The cake contains salannin, nimbin, azadirachtin and azadiradione as the major components. Of these, azadirachtin and meliantriol are used as locust antifeedants while salannin is used as an antifeedant for the housefly.