Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Manure Nutrient Management

Composted cattle manure is NOT detrimental to sugar beet production

In sugar beet production, most farmers do not have an option of manure as an alternative N source since N availability from manure can occur too late in the season and affect sugar quality. Composted cattle manure as different as it is from fresh manure might be a viable alternative N source for sugar beet production.

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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 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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Estimating Nitrogen Credit from Manure

Manure is a valuable source of nutrients offering agronomic and soil health value. Most manure nutrients (e.g. phosphorus) can be managed successfully with traditional soil analysis. However, nitrogen in manure requires some simple advance planning to insure that it is given proper credit for offsetting commercial fertilizer inputs.

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