Addition of Supplemental Nutrients to Balance Fertilizer Value of Swine Manure Improves Crop Yields

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2281. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 24 October 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2281

Research being conducted by the University of Saskatchewan indicates the addition of supplemental nutrients to balance the fertilizer value of swine manure is an effective way to improve crop yields.

As part of a graduate student study examining strategies for improving nitrogen recovery from swine manure fertilizer scientist are exploring the value of adding supplemental nutrients, particularly sulfur, to the land.

The project has been underway for two growing seasons and work, involving supplemental sulfur application is being conducted at Melfort, one of four long term swine manure research sites maintained by the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Soil Science.

Senior Research Scientist Dr. Jeff Schoenau reports the strategy appears to be effective.

With our work with the supplemental fertilizer sulfur what we're doing there is addressing the case that, in some instances a lack of available sulfur, particularly in the second year after application of the swine manure, can be a limitation on soils that are inherently sulfur deficient and especially for crops that have a high sulfur demand like canola.

We have seen yield responses and increases in nitrogen recovery in our trials at the Melfort site with both canola and with cereals from the addition of supplemental sulfur fertilizer so ensuring that you have the proper balance of nutrients after you've added your manure does seem to be an effective strategy for increasing the recovery of manure nitrogen. Dr. Schoenau adds, a similar study underway at Dixon involving the addition of supplemental phosphorus, resulted in occasional improvements in yield response, depending on the crop being grown and only at the lower rates of application.

He stresses it's important to know both what's in the manure and what's in the soil so he recommends nutrient analysis on an annual basis.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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