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U of M Examines Benefits of Swine Manure in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Pasture

by 5m Editor
18 March 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1470. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1470

Scientists at the University of Manitoba are examining the value of using hog manure fertilizer to improve forage quality as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The greenhouse gas study is part of a larger project in which hog manure is being used on grassland to improve forage production for grazing cattle.

Funding agencies, include the federal greenhouse gas initiative, the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative, MRAC and livestock commodity groups.

Greenhouse gases emitted by soil are primarily nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and, to a limited extent, methane.

Soil Microbiologist Dr. Mario Tenuta says scientists will look at several aspects of the effect of manure application on these emissions.

"The first aspect is looking at the greenhouse gas emissions shortly after application.

We would expect that the greenhouse gas emissions would occur from one to several weeks following the application of the manure.

We hypothesize that, because the plants will be actively growing as forage, there will be quite a great demand for nitrogen and this nitrogen, when added to soil, will be taken up by the plant immediately resulting in little nitrogen being available to be released as greenhouse gases.

In this way we expect that there will be a reduction in greenhouse gases from the application of the liquid hog manure on to the forage.

A second aspect involves the animals that are grazing on the system which, themselves, will be a source of manure.

We will be looking specifically at the contribution of dung patches and urine patches to the greenhouse gas emissions as well".

The study is currently scheduled for three years. Dr. Tenuta says it'll take the duration of the study to come up with meaningful data

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor