Use of Liquid Swine Manure Slashes Fertilizer Costs

by 5m Editor
4 August 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1572. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1572

A Beechy, Saskatchewan area grain grower says he has been able to slash his fertilizer costs by replacing commercial fertilizer with liquid swine manure.

For the past ten years Bob Odermatt of Bodensee Farms has been fertilizing his crops with liquid swine manure supplied by a commercial swine barn adjacent to his land.

The manure is custom applied using a no till coulter bar system connected to a towable hose. Odermatt estimates he's saving anywhere from five to 15 dollars per acre.

"It's a tendering process where you tender on this manure and the minimum tender is five dollars per acre. I've bid everywhere from five to 15 dollars per acre.

Nitrogen is, I roughly figured, 20 cents a pound so if you're putting on 100 pounds of nitrogen it would cost you 20 bucks an acre and that would only be used for that year so I figure I'm probably getting it at about less than have price.

I don't ever put on fertilizer more than once every four years. There's a residual.

You only use about half the fertilizer the first year. You have some carry over for about three years so you can reduce the level of your fertilizers for about three years.

Mostly I use canola after the first year. It responds really well to high nitrogen levels. I can harvest it early and then I seed it down to winter wheat without putting any fertilizer down so it gets two crops right away. Then I follow up with a pulse crop."

Odermatt says, once applied, the manure seems to move very little through the soil so it needs to be well blended and spread evenly on the field.

He says using liquid swine manure does limit crop rotations but crop response to the manure has been generally better than to commercial fertilizer.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor