Manitoba Farm Improves Soil Quality by Switching to Hog Manure Fertilizer

CANADA - A Randolph, Manitoba based hog and grain operation reports substantial improvements in the quality of the soil over the past ten years by replacing commercial fertilizer with hog manure fertilizer, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 27 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Since 1994 Henervic Farms has expanded the swine side of its operation from just over 300 sows to approximately 35 hundred sows and it now produces about 80 thousand pigs per year.

Ed Peters told those on hand yesterday for Manure Management 2007 in Winnipeg, as the hog operation has expanded, the farm has moved almost exclusively to using hog manure to fertilize its crops.

Ed Peters-Henervic Farms

We've been in dairy and in hogs for many years and realized the huge value in manure being applied to our heavy clay soils and the improved tilth and so we've really concentrated on looking at it as a real asset.

Our cropping is based on the manure really.

We grow winter wheat which is grown on areas where we need to apply manure early, we'll grow corn which generally can not take manure that year because it's harvested so late and yet we also grow all our corn on manured land without applying any fertilizer.

The tilth of the soil, where our organic matter has risen about one and a half points from 3.3 to five parts of organic matter in the past years seems to really make a big difference even how it absorbs water and those kinds of things and its tilling ability and it's been very good for it.

Peters admits it's not cheap to pump manure, especially when you start moving it long distances so, if everything is less than a mile, manure is probably less expensive than commercial fertilizer but, when you start pumping it three or four miles, it costs more.

However he notes, if you want to raise pigs, you'll still have the manure and without the land it would cost to get rid of it.

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