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Fertiliser Value and Proper Management of Manure

by 5m Editor
8 August 2011, at 9:21am

CANADA - A researcher with the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre says awareness of the fertiliser value of the nutrients contained in livestock manure continues to build, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The second annual Soil and Manure Management Field Clinic, hosted by Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute and the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, and underway today at the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre at Portage la Prairie, is focusing on soil, nutrient and fertiliser management.

Curtis Cavers, a potato agronomist with the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre, says with the price of commercial fertilisers continuing to rise, there's an opportunity to recycle manure nutrients in a way that will benefit both livestock and crop producers.

Curtis Cavers-Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre

In manure management there, I think people are seeing the value in fertilising the right amount, placing the right rate, the right placement, the right timing, and the right source of fertiliser for whatever the needs are.

It's kind of what we call the 'Four R' approach in managing primarily nitrogen and phosphorus.

I think equipment choices, along with our knowledge of how to manage these nutrient sources, has improved over the years, so that we know the best way to apply it, when, and at what rates.

We can figure out a good calculation rate on these things now and actually achieve those target rates with the equipment that's out there, so over-applications should be a lot less frequent and a lot less likely to happen.

Hopefully with the right management, too, that whatever nutrients are applied, are applied in such a way that they stay where they're supposed to, and not move off to non-target areas.

Mr Cavers says people are recognising the value of the nutrients contained in manure, which will, hopefully, create a demand for it.

He says once you have a demand for a product, it is going to treated with value, and over-application and misapplication should be minimal.