CANADA - A planned literature review will provide farmers insight on the most effective strategies for applying livestock manure on tile drained agricultural lands, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Tile drainage on agricultural land offers improved water management but it also creates challenges in terms of nutrient management when applying livestock manure fertilizer.
A call for proposals by the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative for a literature review of Beneficial Management Practices for the Application of Manure on Tile Drained Lands has closed.
MLMMI executive director John Carney stresses producers are always focused on keeping nutrients on the field to maximize agronomic value while protecting the environment whether on tile drained or non-tile drained land.
John Carney-Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative:
With tile drainage, rather than nutrients running off of a field on the surface, there's the added possibility of nutrients percolating through the soil and coming off the field through the tile drain itself.
If the soils are saturated nutrients could leach through more rapidly or if there's macropores, things like burrows from earthworms, they can also form channels that liquid manure could conceivably come through tile drainage.
Some concepts that are used to control those risks, in some areas there's been some tillage done prior to applying liquid manure on tile drained lands which breaks up those macropores and prevents the risk of liquids transiting through those macropores.
Other factors are that, if rainfall is predicted, it would likely be advisable not to be applying manure, onto particularly tile drained lands, although rainfall is always considered when looking at manure application.
Another thing with tile drained lands is you may consider how saturated are the soils to start with when you're planning the timing of your manure application.
Mr Carney anticipates a completed report to be available for release by June of this year.
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