Joel DeRouchey – Applying Manure

My name is Joel DeRouchey, Extension Livestock Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences. And today I want to visit about applying manure to fields. This is a perfect time of year as the fall crops start to come off that livestock producers, especially our beef producers and dairies that have manure that’s accumulated over the summer begin to scrape and then also then subsequently apply that manure to fields that crops have been removed. And manure is used for a variety of reasons, primarily obviously as a fertilizer source to help offset the cost of commercial fertilizer. When producers are starting to apply manure this fall a couple of things they need to take in to account. The first is knowing what the nutrient content of the manure is itself. That way as we apply the manure we know how many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, those essential nutrients that most farmers account for when they…as they purchase commercial fertilizer, how much that we can offset in terms of purchasing less commercial fertilizer. The other thing that we must take into account is the actual soil level of these nutrients as well. Because we want to match up how much manure is needed for the given acreage or the acres that it’s actually going on. Manure can serve as an excellent fertilizer source, often times, especially if farm ground has not received manure previously, we can often see a bump or benefit in yield in the subsequent yield, from the extra organic matter as well as potentially the introduction of alot of the trace minerals that we do not normally put out through the commercial fertilizer mixes that producers purchase.

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