Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Land Application

With increasing regulations, the livestock producer needs to understand the scientific principles that affect manure transformations and how to use these principles to manage the manure for maximum fertilizer value with minimal environmental impact. Improved land application of manure is one part of the solution, but we suggest that the producer evaluate the quantity of nutrients arriving on the farm as feed, animals, and fertilizer compared to the total that is exported.

Manure Reduces Nitrate Losses to Water in Iowa Study

Iowa State University researchers concluded from a long-term field study that poultry manure, when applied at a rate to meet the crop nitrogen (N) requirements, can reduce nitrate loss and achieve equal or better yields in corn soybean production systems. While this research focused on nitrate (NO­3-N) loss by field-tile drains (typically placed 3 to 6 feet deep), similar trends would be anticipated in Nebraska for nitrate leaching below the crop root zone and the eventual impacts on surface and ground water quality.

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Manure Applications Prior to Planting

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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Manure and Me: 10 Years of Amazing Changes

Land Application Training events are coming up in February. Several new hands-on activities will focus on using weather forecasts to minimize manure application odors, considering where to stockpile manure prior to land application, selecting the “best” routes for hauling manure to fields and defining who is responsible for manure under various scenarios.

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Manure and Mulch are Teaming Up

Cedar trees are spreading into grasslands and reducing forages that support cattle grazing. The Nebraska Forest Service is promoting management practices to keep the trees from spreading outside of their usual habitat and into grasslands and areas along the banks of rivers and streams (called ‘riparian forests’). So what do cedar trees have to do with manure? Since 2015, two resourceful farmers have generously given up a few acres of their fields for UNL researchers to test various applications of mulch alone or co-mingled with cattle or swine manure.

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Best Application Tips for Winter Application

As we deal with frozen soils, switching to surface manure application, and the challenges of dealing with manure application during colder temperatures we need to be mindful of our application practices. While these application conditions don’t necessarily increase nutrient loss, they do increase the risk of potential loss.

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