what is night soil in agriculture



For millennia, farmers across the world have relied on human excrement as a fertilizer, often known euphemistically as “night soil” (Kawa 2016a; King 1911; Van Der Geest 2002; Xue 2005).Jul 18, 2019

What is “night soil”?

Use of night soil in agriculture and fish farming. The use of untreated night soil as a fertilizer in agriculture or as a source of nutrients in fish farming represents a considerable health hazard in the form of pathogens and parasites. The article reports a pilot study in which night soil was placed in an anaerobic digester, producing biogas and residual organic matter.

What are the risks of night soil use in agriculture?

After reading this article you will learn about night soil, sewage and sludge. Night Soil: Night soil is human excreta, which is very rich in plant nutrients. Agricultural chemists have found that fresh human faeces contain about 1.5 per cent N, 1.1 per cent …

Is China’s night soil good for You?

Often known by its euphemistic name “night soil,” the most famous example of raw human waste application might be China, where human excrement was used for centuries in an attempt to close the nutrient cycle in their fields, something that agricultural scientist F.H. King cited in the early 20th century as the reason behind China’s seemingly perennial fertility. While night soil …

What is the history of night soil collection in Singapore?

 · Making Modern-Day Night Soil Jessi Gowan June 14, 2017 9 2 minutes read While the practice of collecting “night soil” from urban households in China to be repurposed as fertilizer in rural rice paddies might be somewhat outdated, the idea of using excrement to maintain soil fertility continues to be promoted by environmentalists around the world.


Why is it called night soil?

Night soil is a historically used euphemism for human excreta collected from cesspools, privies, pail closets, pit latrines, privy middens, septic tanks, etc. This material was removed from the immediate area, usually at night, by workers employed in this trade.

Where is night soil still common?

China’s use of “night soil,” as the Chinese rightly call a manure that is collected after dark, is probably the reason that its soils are still healthy after four millennia of intensive agriculture, while other great civilizations—the Maya, for one—floundered when their soils turned to dust.

Is night soil still used?

Night soil of a sort is still spread on farm fields, except it is the treated sewage sludge or “biosolids” that is separated from wastewater. Traditionally, sanitation engineers mixed the sludge with high quantities of lime, which killed most of the pathogens.

What night soil means?

human fecesDefinition of night soil : human feces used especially for fertilizing the soil.

How do you make soil at night?

Get Night Soil from CorpsesAs you travel about the world, you’ll come across corpses — or what are essentially zombies. You first encounter these on Furrowfield at the Ruined Church. … Kill one, and you’ll get 1 Night Soil for your efforts.Zombies will sometimes perform a dance, and a purple aura will surround them.

Can human urine be used as fertilizer?

Urine can be used as a fertiliser without fear it will fuel the spread of antibiotic resistance, researchers have revealed – although they urge caution against using fresh bodily waste to water crops. Urine is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus and has been used for generations to help plants grow.

What is the best manure?

Ideally, the best manure for gardens is probably chicken, since it has a very high content of nitrogen, a need all plants have, but it must be composted well and aged to prevent burning plants. Chicken manure is a rich source of nutrients and is best applied in fall or spring after it has had a chance to compost.

Is human urine good for plants?

Human urine provides an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and trace elements for plants, and can be delivered in a form that’s perfect for assimilation. With a constant, year-round and free supply of this resource available, more and more farmers and gardeners are making use of it.


How long does it take for a trench to dry?

The material dries in the trench in about eight to ten months when it contains about 1.8 per cent N, 1.9 per cent P 2 O 5 and 1.1 per cent K 2 O. In the Nasik system, organic refuse is added to human excreta. This mixture is then deposited in trenches.

Can activated sludge be used in a septic tank?

The effluent obtained from the filter bed method and the activated sludge process can safely be directly applied to the field, but the septic tank effluent should be carefully used because it still contains lots of objectionable colloidal materials and pathogens.

What is night soil?

For millennia, farmers across the world have relied on human excrement as a fertilizer, often known euphemistically as “night soil” (Kawa 2016a; King 1911; Van Der Geest 2002; Xue 2005). In the 19th century, however, a host of factors related to urban and industrial growth in Europe and North America led to the adoption of water-borne waste removal, which became the basis of the modern hydraulic sanitation system. With this development emerged a “culture of flushing”—intertwining attitudes, infrastructure, and legal codes that resulted in the channeling of human excrement into subterranean networks and waterways (Benidickson 2007). In effect, this disrupted the cycling of nutrients from urban metropolises to surrounding agricultural lands, provoking what Marxian scholars now describe as the metabolic rift (Foster 1999; see also Moore 2011).

Why is night soil important?

In many regions of the world, human excrement or “night soil” was used historically to improve or maintain soil fertility, particularly in response to agricultural intensification. But this was not always an intentional management practice among early farmers, as can be seen in the case of Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE). Distributed in patches across the Amazon basin, ADE is an anthropogenic soil known for its significant concentrations of organic residues that contribute to its elevated fertility (Kawa 2016b:50–51). Conservative estimates place the emergence of ADE between 2000 and 2500 years ago, when it appears to have co-evolved with the rise of manioc agriculture in the region (Arroyo-Kalin 2010; cf. Moraes 2015; Neves et al. 2003). Hundreds of ADE sites have been identified to date, primarily along the banks of the Amazon and its major tributaries, where indigenous villagers deposited food refuse, vegetative charcoal, and various forms of manure, including human excrement (Birk et al. 2010; Glaser and Birk 2012). Recent soil scientific research has concluded that ADE was not intentionally created, but rather grew out of everyday midden activities, which produced a positive feedback loop that allowed for the growth of human populations in the region, and in turn, expansion of such anthropogenic soils (Glaser and Birk 2012). Whether Amazonian farming communities suffered from chronic disease as a result of these deposition practices remains unclear.

Who were the night men?

Hundreds of men were employed in cities—mostly African-Americans and immigrants who were either independent entrepreneurs or employees of city contractors. The night men, with their “rude carts,” were considered a nuisance at best.

What was the dirtiest city in the world in the 19th century?

As cities grew larger and denser in the 19th century, the paltry urban infrastructure could not handle the sheer tonnage of human waste its residents were producing. New York was the dirtiest city of them all.

When are soil temperatures measured?

When are soil temperatures taken? Soil temperatures are measured once soils are workable. The exact time will depend upon your USDA plant hardiness zone. In zones with higher numbers, the soil temperature will warm up quickly and earlier in the season. In zones that are lower, the soil temperature may take months to warm up as winter chill wears off.

How to check soil temperature?

Most people don’t know how to check soil temperature or what tools are used for taking accurate readings. Soil temperature gauges or thermometers are the common way to take the reading. There are special soil temperature gauges used by farmers and soil sample companies, but you can just use a soil thermometer.

What temperature should compost be?

Determining soil temperatures for a compost bin should also done in the morning. The bin should maintain at least 60 degrees F. (16 C.) bacteria and organisms to do their work.

What is the factor that drives germination, blooming, composting, and a variety of other processes?

Image by theowl84. Soil temperature is the factor that drives germination, blooming, composting, and a variety of other processes. Learning how to check soil temperature will help the home gardener know when to start sowing seeds.

What is the ideal soil temperature for planting?

Ideal soil temperatures for planting most plants are 65 to 75 degrees F. (18-24 C.).

Can you use a soil thermometer to check soil temperature?

There are special soil temperature gauges used by farmers and soil sample companies, but you can just use a soil thermometer. In a perfect world, you would check nighttime temperatures to ensure they are not so cold your plant’s health will be impacted. Instead, check in the early morning for a good average. The night’s coolness is still mostly in …

Why do farmers use human waste as fertilizer?

Many older farmers swear by the use of human waste as fertilizer. Some even claim that it encourages trees to produce sweeter fruits.

What temperature should fertilizer be sanitized?

Temperatures of 50°C and above destroy most bacteria. As a result, heat treatment is one of the main methods of sanitizing most organic fertilizers, regardless of the source.

How long does compost take to break down?

The compost is then allowed to heat up and break down naturally over a year or two.

What organization regulates fertilizer?

The Soil Association, among others, has addressed most of these concerns by providing scientific studies and strict regulations to govern the use of these fertilizers.

How to make JLF fertilizer?

Urine JLF is one of the simplest liquid fertilizers to make. You can make it by collecting urine over a few days then occasionally add some leaf mold to it.

What is biosolid fertilizer used for?

The majority of biosolids are used for soil preparation of farms, and some spread through forests. You can now even purchase biosolids fertilizer for use in the garden.

Can you use fertilizer on soil?

These measures sanitize the fertilizer and lessen the likelihood of contamination. However, you should only use these fertilizers on the soil.

What is the average temperature of soil?

The average soil temperatures for bioactivity range from 50 to 75F. These values are favorable for normal life functions of earth biota that ensure proper organic matter decomposition, increased nitrogen mineralization, uptake of soluble substances, and metabolism.

Why is soil temperature important for agriculture?

Soil Temperature As A Factor Of Crops Development. The temperature of soil is a significant parameter in agriculture since proper warmth at proper depths not only conditions efficient plant growing. It also determines the time for sowing, due to the importance of soil temperature for seed germination.

What are the physical properties of soil?

Physical Properties. High soil temperatures induce dehydration of clay and cracking of sand particles, eventually reducing their content and increasing the concentration of silt. The warmer is the earth, the more carbon dioxide it releases.

Why does soil temperature increase cation exchange capacity?

High soil temperature regimes show higher cation exchange capacity due to decomposed organic matter. The warmer the soil, the more water-soluble phosphorus it contains for plants. Vice versa, low-heated earth is poor in phosphorus available for vegetation. As to pH-levels, the acidity rises with a higher degree as well due to organic acid denaturation.

Does clay have more heat than sand?

Soil composition and texture. Clay usually shows higher heat capacity compared to sand with equal water content and density. However, sand heats quicker than clay due to less volume of water (lower porosity). Thermal conductivity increases in finer grounds. Nonetheless, factors that affect soil temperature are complex and depend on the way they match. For example, water produces a reversed effect on thermal conductivity.

Does wet soil conduct heat?

Soil moisture. Wet soils conduct heat vertically better than dry ones. It means that dry earth heats up faster during the daytime and cools down faster at night. However, water content may affect double ways depending on the earth’s compaction and density – either evaporating from the surface or dissipating in the profile underneath. Cold precipitations cool the earth.

Why does organic matter increase the temperature of soil?

Organic matter. It raises water retention and darkens the earth. For these two reasons, organic matter content also increases the temperature of soil. Angle of slope. Solar radiation penetrates the ground more intensively when the angle is around 90 degrees and disseminates more if the field is on a hill.

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