U of M to Establish Long Term Manure Management Trial at Glenlea

CANADA - The University of Manitoba is establishing a manure management trial which will examine the long term effects of a variety of manure treatments in a range of cropping systems, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 31 July 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

A long term multi-disciplinary manure management trial being established at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at Glenlea will examine alternative sources of crop nutrients applied to different cropping systems.

University of Manitoba soil scientist Dr. Don Flaten says several factors related to manure application versus synthetic fertilizer application will be monitored over the long term.

Dr. Don Flaten-University of Manitoba

We want to look at issues like nitrogen and phosphorus accumulation, the persistence of livestock pathogens, the persistence and transfer of different genes in the environment and overall soil health and crop health.

We've got sort of a series of manure and nutrient management treatments including no fertilizer or manure of any sort, conventional synthetic fertilizers and then four different types of manures; liquid pig manure, two different types of solid pig manure, stockpiled and composted from our new straw bedded system at Glenlea, then solid dairy manure as well.

The manure treatments in fact will be applied on a nitrogen basis for some plots and then on a phosphorus basis in some other crops so there's quite a few nutrient treatments in there.

In terms of the crops we're going to be going with two cropping systems, one based exclusively on annual crops and then another cropping system which has three years of perennials in with a couple of years of annuals to try and see what the difference in cropping system makes in terms of nutrient uptake and pathogen persistence and some of those issues I mentioned before.

The trial is expected to be in existence for a minimum of five years and hopefully ten to 15 years.

Dr. Flaten notes the trial designed as an open field laboratory set up for partnership type research, including partnerships among scientists with different types of expertise but also across organizations.

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