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Utilizing nitrogen

With increasing—and changing—regulations, the manure–nitrogen equation calls for new math. Beyond the calculations, Iowa studies show that you can’t forget that manure is a valuable—and complex—source of nitrogen (N).

Research conducted by Iowa State University professor of soil fertility Alfred (Fred) Blackmer proves that it is important to pay close attention to how manure fits into N needs. In 14 of 18 on-farm studies during 2004, manure applications that were expected to supply sufficient N to optimize corn yield came up short.

The results were similar to those of other studies Blackmer conducted in previous years. All were conducted for the Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network (OFN). “Manure is a very different source of nitrogen from commercial fertilizer,” Blackmer says. That’s because some of the N in manure is in the organic form. Organic N becomes available to plants slower than the inorganic N in commercial fertilizer.

In one study, a farmer applied

Best Management Practices Used with the permission of Iowa Pork Producer Magazine Eldon McAfee, IPPA legal counsel

 

Make every attempt to get to know neighbors. Realistically assess the situation with neighbors before building or expaning an operation Listen to and sincerely respond to neighbor concerns — even if they seem unfounded or beyond the producer’s control at the time. Consider all reasonable suggestions to address the concerns. Meet with concerned neighbors to explain your operation. Participate in mediation if requested by neighbors. Never give up trying to resolve the situation. Be aware of and comply with — or better yet exceed — all legal requirements for the operation. Design and construct the operation to minimize its impact on neighbors. This includes locating as far from neighbors and public areas as possible, designing sites that are not visible to neighbors, and utilizing the latest design technology to minimize odor (e.g., tree shelter belts and
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