Todd Whitney - Extension Educator Cropping Systems & Water

Todd Whitney - Extension Educator Cropping Systems & Water

Manure Stockpiles: Mind Your Manners

manure stockpile with markup showing where to place a dike
As responsible land stewards, farmers, who follow “good neighbor practices,” may save on commercial fertilizer costs while at the same time protecting groundwater from contamination due to nutrient leaching. Properly stockpiled manure stored on field edges can be a “win-win” for farmers and their rural neighbors through addressing two common concerns: runoff and odors.

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Manure Applications Prior to Planting

manure spreading dry manure
Spring manure applications may provide environmental and crop production advantages compared to fall manure applications. These benefits include reduced nitrogen leaching, increased crop yields, and higher phosphorus and potassium nutrient soil storage.

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Building Soil Organic Matter Takes Time

clump of soil showing organic matter
Our “instant” culture gravitates to testimonials about how to rapidly increase soil organic matter by 1% within 1 to 3 years. Conversations with lenders and landlords regarding rewards on manure applications and multi-species cover crops investments would likely be easier if financial rewards or measured soil physical properties came quickly.

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