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.
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
Proper Nutrient Placement Depth The top 6″ of soil depth is generally considered the aerobic zone-i.e. zone with oxygen. Below 6″ of soil depth is called the anaerobic zone because of the lack of oxygen. Plant nutrients are more available in the top 6″ of soil because of a much greater amount off oxygen present in the soil. The oxygen in the aerobic zone also helps breakdown the nutrients in animal waste to become available to the plants. Placing nutrients in the 4″-6″ depth rather than on the surface has several benefits. Nutrients are not lost to erosion. Nitrogen does not escape to the atmosphere. Plants cannot take up nutrients in dry soil. As soon as the surface soil dries, the nutrients are not available. Less weed pressure-High surface fertility promotes weed germination.
Each 1000 gallons of Grow-Finish Hog Manure contains approximately: