Swine Manure Fertilizer Improves Productivity of Unimproved Native Pasture

CANADA - Research conducted by the University of Manitoba shows liquid hog manure fertilizer dramatically improves the productivity of pasture and hayland and the cattle that consume the forage produced on that land, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 31 July 2007
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A multi-disciplinary research project southeast of La Broquerie, coordinated by the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, is evaluating the effect of swine manure fertilizer on forage yields and quality on nutrient deficient native or unimproved pasture and on the productivity of the cattle that consume the forage.

Dr. Kim Ominski, an associate professor with the U of M’s Department of Animal Science, explains three manure treatments are being compared.

Dr. Kim Ominski-University of Manitoba

The treatments that we're looking at are the presence or absence of liquid hog manure, we're looking at how that manure is applied in terms of frequency so we're applying manure at two times during the year in one system versus a single application in another system, so therefor the three treatments are no manure, applied two times a year spring and fall and applied in the spring only.

We're also looking at the potential removal of forage in that system and we're doing that either by grazing animals or by removing that forage in the form of harvested hay.

From a productivity perspective we're seeing significant increases in both forage and animal productivity.

We're seeing between two and a half and three fold increases in forage productivity and animal productivity is comparable.

So probably somewhere between three and three and a half fold increases in terms of the grazing days per acre, how many days can we graze on each hectare and then in terms of live weight gain per acre we're also seeing significant increases in the amount of kilograms of live weight of animal that we're actually removing from those systems so again easily a three, three and a half fold increase in lives weight gain per acre.

Dr. Ominski views this as an opportunity to improve productivity in and environmentally sustainable manner, both in terms of cattle and forage.

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