Manure Management and Conservation
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Manure Management and Conservation

August 6, 2019


Field by field manure nutrient
management program, requires multiple components to maintain
adequate fertility for crop growth and development, while minimizing soil and
water quality impacts. A well-designed soil sampling plan,
including proper soil test interpretations, along with manure sampling, manure nutrient analysis, equipment calibration, appropriate
application rates, timing and application methods are all
necessary components of a manure nutrient management plan.
Implementing these components allows manure to be recognized and used
as a credible nutrient resource, potentially reducing input costs and
minimizing environmental impacts. This video will cover three of these
components; manure sampling, manure nutrient analysis and field
application methods. This segment will demonstrate the
procedure for taking a liquid dip sample. Sampling maneuver prior to application
will ensure that you receive the analysis in time to adjust nutrient application
rates based on the nutrient concentration of the manure. Be sure to label sample bottles before
filling them with the manure sample. A few pieces of
equipment are needed for manure sampling: first rubber gloves to protect yourself,
a bucket to mix the sub samples from different locations in the pit, a funnel to pour the final mix sample
into, the labeled sample bottle and a dip
sampler. This sampler was made using a long piece
or one by two and a cup securely taped to the end. When
getting a sample, you need to have access to the pit, often
through the pump out ports. Once the port is open, break through the
crust that may have formed on the surface, and stir in one area to obtain a uniform
sample. Taking one sample is similar to taking
one soil core when soil sampling, so it is necessary to
take three subsamples from within each pump out port. After three subsamples have been taken
from one port, move on to all remaining ports and access locations, repeating the
process of mixing and taking three subsamples. After subsamples are collected stir or
swirl the bucket to mix the subsamples. Using the funnel, pour the mix sample into the bottle
until the bottle is about three-fourths full. The sample may be frozen before sending
to the lab, so the extra space is needed for
expansion. The sample should be frozen immediately, and shipped frozen on a Monday or
Tuesday, so it arrives at the lab for analysis during the week and not during the
weekend. This method will adequately reflect the nitrogen content
of the pit, but will not be a good representation of the phosphorus
concentration in the manure source, as phosphorus tends to be found in the
solids that can settle to the bottom of the storage structure. Another way to take a liquid manure
sample is to use a core sampler. The core
sampler allows you to obtain a sample that best represents the manure from top to bottom throughout the pit,
capturing any stratification, especially with phosphorous. The sampler is made using inch-and-a-half PVC pipe with a tennis
ball attached to a rope that plugs the end after taking a sample.
There are commercial samplers that can be used also. To take a sample, release the plug and run the pipe down into the manure
all the way to the bottom. Then pull the plug tight. You should
only sample from the solids at the bottom of the storage structure, if in fact though solids will be
completely agitated and removed from the structure. Take the
sampler over to the sample bucket and release the plug, emptying the sample
into the bucket. Taking one sample is similar to taking
one soil core when soil sampling, so it is necessary to take subsamples
from at least three locations within each pump outport. After three subsamples have been taken
from one port, move on to all remaining ports and
access locations, repeating the process of mixing and
taking three subsamples. After samples are collected, stir or swirl the bucket around to mix the
subsamples. Next, using the funnel pour the mixed sample into the labeled bottle, until the bottles
about three-fourths full. The sample may be frozen before sending
to the lab, so the extra space is needed for
expansion. The sample should be frozen immediately and shipped frozen on a Monday or Tuesday so it arrives at the lab for analysis during the week and not during the weekend. To get a representative sample from an open feedlot, it is important to take a
subsample at several locations around the lot. Before you begin, label the
sample bag with the location, date and sample number. Scrape a shovel across the concrete then mix the manure thoroughly. Take a small subsample from the mixed
manure and transfer it to a bucket. Repeat this process at 10 or more locations from around the lot, making sure to mix the
sample each time before taking a subsample and
adding it to the bucket. Mix the subsamples that have been added
to the bucket and using a rubber glove, or with your
hand inside the plastic sample bag, grab a sample from the bucket to fill
the plastic bag. When sampling composted manure, as with manure sampling, it is important to get a sample that is
representative of all manure that will be applied. There are several
ways to obtain a representative sample from composted manure and two we will feature: our drilling and a
profile sample. Before you begin, label the sample bag
with the location, date and sample number. Using a drill with a core sampler attached, drill into the
composted manure to the depth of the sampler. Remove the manure from the sampler
using a dowel or small piece of pipe and empty it into
the sample bucket. Repeat this process at 10 or more
locations from around the pile to obtain a
representative sample, emptying the core sampler into the sample bucket each time. Mix the subsamples that have been added to the bucket, and using a rubber glove or with your hand inside the plastic
sample bag, grab a sample from the bucket to fill the plastic bag. Another method that can be used to take
a representative sample from composted manure is to move a
portion of the pile with the skid loader to expose a profile of the pile. Before you
begin sampling, label the sample bag with the location,
date and sample number. Using rubber gloves or with your hand
inside a sample bag, take samples from several locations from
the top of the pile to the bottom, placing each subsample in
the bucket. When at least ten samples have been taken, thoroughly mix the sample and using
rubber gloves or the sample bag, grab a subsamples to fill the sample bag. When the manure analysis report
returns from the lab, it is important to spend time reviewing
the information to determine how this might affect your
nutrient applications. First, compare this report to other samples
collected from similar facilities with similar management practices to
determine if something might be odd about this sample. If so, you may consider
having the lab redo the sample. Next, the most important parts of the lab
report will be looking at the total nitrogen or N or Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) Ammonium N, the phosphorus usually expressed as p2o5 and potassium
expressed as k20. Total N or TKN represents the total
amount of organic and inorganic N in the manure sample. It does
not tell you what is immediately available for plant use, nor does it reflect losses from handling
or application. Ammonium N or NH4N represents the main inorganic N fraction or immediately available plant N.
The greater the percentage of ammonium N, the greater the amount of N
available for immediate plant use. Phosphorus can be expressed as total P, or as p2o5, as in this example. If the
lab report you receive is expressed as total P, you should convert to p2o5 by multiplying p by 2.29 to equal p2o5. This makes it easier
to compare to commercial fertilizer sources. Potassium can be expressed as total K or K2O. To convert K to K2O, multiply K by 1.2. Labs may also report
percent solids or percent moisture, pH and micronutrients, but the NPK values are usually the
nutrients of most interest for crop production. How do we use this information to
calculate a manure application rate. For example, if we want to apply 150
pounds of N per acre for our corn crop, if we divide the 150
pounds per acre by the total N found in this sample, 57.5 pounds per 1,000 gallons, we get 2.6 or twenty six hundred gallons
per acre. We can do a similar calculation to
determine the phosphorus application rate. Manure has a lot of valuable nutrients. A producer needs to know the quantity of
the manure available, the nutrient analysis of the manure, the
crop needs, the current soil test results and the
handling and application costs. Use of manure may result in increased or decreased
yields when compared to traditional fertilizers. Depending on any of a number of reasons. Crop producers need to predict how well they can manage manure as a fertilizer
source and what the overall impact will be over
a number of years. If they can, they will be better able to
determine the value for the manure in their farming operations. The most
common method of valuing fertilizer is component price. The
manure is sampled and tested to determine the nutrient
content. Then this analysis is used to determine the value based on commercial fertilizer prices.
Another method to price manure, is to price it as a bulk commodity, where you have sellers and buyers. If you are in an area that has an abundance of supply and limited demand, it will drive the
price down. If demands outstrips supply the price
will increase until it balances out with the demand.
The nutrients would have a different value depending on the location and local
situation. Transportation and distribution costs become a factor in negotiating price. If there’s an
overabundance of manure in one area, and the livestock producers are faced with
high transportation costs to move it out of the area, they may be willing to reduce the price
if they can avoid significant transportation costs. After manure
samples have been taken using the proper methods, and analysis results are available, the
application rates can be calculated according to crop needs and
environmental risk. One strategy for reducing the risk of nutrient loss, is using low disturbance injection
equipment. Low disturbance application leaves a higher level of residue on soil
surface, protecting the soil from erosion and nutrient loss. We will view several
types of application equipment that leave various levels a residue after
incorporation or injection. This video was taken at a field day at the Iowa State University southeast
Research Farm in September 2010. Four different
injection and incorporation systems were reviewed side by side, injecting water into soybean stubble. Manure application equipment can play a
crucial role in getting the right rate, in the right
place. Many times we give consideration to getting manure on as fast as possible, without much
consideration to the amount of soil disturbance that occurs and can potentially lead to soil erosion.
Some systems can also leave more manure on the surface, thereby causing an increased potential of
volatile losses of N or run-off of nutrients. Producers should
consider using the piece of equipment that best matches their objectives and should
demand the same from their commercial manure applicator. Systems that inject manure below the soil
surface with minimal soil disturbance would be
ideal. The first system is a Farm Star injector with drag hose system. The unit has dietrich 8 inch flat sweeps and has a 2000 to
25,000 gallon application range. The second system is a Houle 7300 with
a soil warrior manure system. The unit has fluted
Coulter disc covers. This unit performs it’s own tillage close to
the hub. The third system is a Houle 6,000 with fixed disk covers. This unit has
adjustable down pressure and depth. The fourth system is a GEA farm tech Houle 7300 with a seven row dietrich tool bar and Dietrich series 70 no-till units.
From left to right the first four are without sealers and
the last three include sealers, with twenty two and a
half inch gauge wheel Coulter’s. Flow control regulates rate at variable speeds. We have discussed the manure sampling, analysis and application components of a
manure nutrient management program. Tt is important to review your current program, to make sure that manure nutrients are
being properly accounted for. Accurate application rates and proper
timing, ensure that manure nutrients are
adequate for crop growth, and reduce the risk of over application,
that could lead to negative impacts on water quality. Utilizing load disturbance equipment can
improve the quality of your soil by leaving a higher level of residue on
the soil surface. Residue protects the soil from erosion, which keeps nutrients in the field where
they are needed for crop growth. Fine-tuning your application rates, methods and timing can potentially
reduce your input costs, while maintaining crop yields. A
well-thought-out manure nutrient management program also can keep excess nutrients and
sediment out of our rivers, streams and lakes.

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