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Improved Manure Management Contributes to Agricultural Sustainability

by 5m Editor
9 September 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1597. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1597

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada says by better understanding of the benefits of manure fertilizer, farmers can create a resource that can play a role in building a sustainable agricultural industry.

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is responsible for delivering the soils and nutrient management components of the federally funded greenhouse gas mitigation program for Canadian agriculture.

In conjunction with several cooperating groups, the agency has established sites across Canada to demonstrate best manure management practices for greenhouse gas mitigation. Council Executive Director Doug McKell says applying manure at proper rates and properly incorporating it into the soil will resolve many of the negatives associated with the product.

"The proper management of manure involves using manure most efficiently. The costs of using manure are mainly in transportation and application. The traditional practice has just been to haul it out of the feedlot or the barns and put it on the land that's as close to the barns as possible because of the transportation issues associated with it.

What typically has happened in the past is you get an over application of manure on land and results in leaching of nitrates and it gets into water courses.

We're encouraging farmers to analyze manure to find out what exactly is in the manure, as far as the different nutrient components, then try to match what they have in the manure to the crop needs and their commercial fertilizer applications to restrict the over application of nitrogen and the resulting nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere."

McKell says manure is an excellent fertilizer with the same nutrient benefits as commercial fertilizer.

He says, in addition to being good for the crop, manure applied at proper rates improves the bulk density of the soil and soil organic matter making it less susceptible to erosion and degradation.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor