Land Application

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.

Effects of liquid manure injection into a winter rye cover crop: on-farm trials

Winter cereal rye planted as a cover crop has been shown effective in capturing nitrate before it leaches from the root zone. We conducted on-farm trials in central and southern Minnesota to determine if a rye cover crop would capture significant root-zone nitrate in the fall and spring but release it in time to maintain yield in the subsequent corn crop.

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Does Manure Benefit Crop Productivity? Environment?

Manure is often viewed by many as an environmental liability. However, if manure is applied at rates equal to or less than the nitrogen (N) requirement of a crop, can manure produce environmental benefits over commercial fertilizer? This was the focus of an Asian research group which summarized the results of 141 published studies from Asia, Europe, and the U.S. comparing manure substitution for fertilizer. This article summarizes the “Take Home Messages” from this research paper.

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Soil quality impacts of agricultural and municipal biosolids applications

Soil health management refers to the preservation and improvement in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties to maximize the productive capacity of soil. Cover crops and reduced tillage are promoted for improving soil health; however, soil amendments such as application of livestock manure and municipal biosolids have received less attention as a soil health improvement practice. A literature review, funded by the North Central Region Water Network and the Soil Health Institute, was conducted to summarize and discuss results of studies reporting chemical, physical, and biological soil properties from application of livestock manure, animal by-products (i.e. compost), and municipal biosolids and to identify further research needs.

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Manure Impact on Erosion and Runoff

This article reviews the value that results from changes to soil’s physical characteristics. Charles Wortmann and Dan Walters, faculty with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln monitored soil erosion, runoff, and phosphorus (P) loss from replicated field plots over three cropping seasons immediately after manure application and four subsequent years when no manure was applied. Significant erosion and runoff benefits were observed for sites receiving animal manures.

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Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

Manure increases formation of larger and more stable soil aggregates. Several benefits result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including reduced runoff and soil erosion and increased water infiltration leading to greater drought tolerance.

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