Biodynamic Preparations and Formulations

In this section you will find information on the preparations that are unique to the Bio-dynamic Method of Farming.
Click on the links below to discover a new world of making and applying preparations to enhance the earthly and cosmic influences in a farm system.

BD 500 - Cow Horn Manure

Known as cow horn manure, preparation 500 is the basis for soil fertility, and the renewal of degraded soils. It is usually the first preparation used during the change over to the biodynamic system.

Preparation of  BD500

Preparation 500 is made by filling a cow's horn with cow dung, and burying it in the soil during the cooler months - November through February.

During the cooler months life breathes into the soil and the soil has the tendency to be full of growth energies, which energies are absorbed into the dung through the receptive nature of the horn.

Only cow horns are used, not bull horns. The cow horn differs from a bull horn in that it has a series of calving rings at the base and has a solid tip.

The dung should be from a lactating cow which will bring in the earthly forces to the preparation. The cow should be fed with good quality fodder for two days before filling the horns to ensure the dung is full of vitality.

The horns should be buried in a pit about 16-18 inches deep and covered with soil that has been enriched with good quality compost. Be careful not to allow weeds to grow on the pit as the weed roots can grow into the preparation and also avoid trees roots.

The horns should be buried open end down so that they will not become water logged if the pit is over watered.

The pit should be kept cool by mulching with paddy straw or similar and shaded with a low thatching of coconut fronds.

 

The preparation when ready after 4 months should have turned into dark humus and should be sweet smelling. It should be stored in a cool place and in glazed pots or in glass jars surrounded by damp coir pith as an insulation.

Application of BD500

Stirring and creating the vortex

  • It is sprayed up to four times a year. The best times are in October and November and then again in February and March. It is important to apply in the late afternoon.
  • It is used in small quantities at the rate of 25 grams in 13 litres of water per acre.
  • It is stirred for one hour making a vortex or crater in one direction and then reversing the direction and making a vortex in the other direction.
  • Preparation 500 is sprayed at the descending phase of the moon.

Stirring in water flow forms for large scale application

On larger areas a larger volume of liquid can be stirred in a 200 litre drum with a tripod supporting a stirring rod


A  flow form with an electric motor for cascade stirring mixing upto 500 litres per hour and applied with a spray nozzle.


The stirred preparation can then be sprinkled with a whisk brush over the land.

With regular application, preparation BD500 will give a soil all the characteristics needed to sustain a Living Soil.

Intended Benefits

  • Strong humus formation
  • Increase in all soil bacteria, such as rhizobacteria activity (nodulation) on all legumes, e.g. dals, and an increase of the phosphate solubilising bacteria
  • Increase in the mycorrhizal fungi and their hyphae
  • Improved crumb structure and resultant improvement in soil tilth
  • Earthworm activity is increased
  • Absorption and retention of water is greater. International research has found that BD soils require 25% to 50% less irrigation than conventional soils.
  • Earthworm activity is increased
  • Absorption and retention of water is greater. International research has found that BD soils require 25% to 50% less irrigation than conventional soils.
  • A deep rooting system is developed in all plants
  • It will work equally well in any soil type, clays, volcanic, peat silt or weathered silica