Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Manure Nutrient Management

Does Manure Benefit Crop Productivity? Environment?

dry manure spreader with vertical beaters
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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Improved Use Efficiency of Applied Organic Nitrogen

compost windrows
Land application of organic materials for soil management in Nebraska is important. The availability of applied organic N and the fertilizer N substitution values of applied organic materials is not well predicted. The uncertainty of applied organic N availability leads to over-application of fertilizer N resulting in low efficiency of applied N use. Research has been done to validate or adapt canopy sensor guided in-season N application practices for fields with manure or other organic material applied, and to improve the prediction of the fertilizer N substitution values for organic materials.

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What is the Economic Value of Manure?

Value of beef open lot manure assuming crop benefits from potassium supplementation and 5% increase in yield. Estimated manure value is $28/ton.
Manure has value. That value may result from improvements in soil quality, increases in yield, and replacement of commercial nutrient required for crop production. This article will focus on the economic benefits of manure.

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Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

The organic matter in manure improves soil quality including formation of stable soil aggregates.
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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Is Manure a Fertility Option for Wheat?

spreading liquid manure in wheat with a toolbar
With ground opening up for manure application following wheat harvest, this is a good time to ask about the fit for manure with wheat? There are some good opportunities to use manure following wheat harvest.

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