Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC)

A research on the use of bio-mulch in sandy land at Congot beach, Jangkaran Village, Temon, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia as an alternative to plastic mulch is being done by Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Faculty of Animal Science. "The research is just one activity under a bigger research program on the development of pastures in sandy land," said Dr. Bambang Suwignyo, a faculty member of UGM and a SEARCA alumnus who finished his PhD program at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Bio-mulch is a residual hay/feed that is no longer consumed by cattle.

Dr. Suwignyo initiated the use of sandy land for forage and pastures development for cattle feed in 2005. He explained that farmers usually use plastic mulch in sandy land, which is dry and has high evaporation rate. However, plastic mulch is expensive and less environmentally friendly, so many farmers have raised complaints.

According to Dr. Suwignyo, this particular kind of bio-mulch also serves as a fertilizer when it is not yet decomposed. The 2.5 month research on a 300 m2sandy land suggests that bio-mulch may replace the function of plastic mulch. He also added that although the research has only reached the data analysisstage, there are indications that the use of plastic mulch and bio-mulch has the same result.



SOURCE: UGM News|30 January 2012

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