Manure Fertilizer Requires Higher Management But Increases Crop Response


Farmscape for March 14, 2018

Dr. Jeff Schoenau – University of Saskatchewan

Full Interview 11:01 Listen

A soil Scientists with the University of Saskatchewan says the broad range of nutrients contained in livestock manure require a higher level of management but it will also heighten crop response. The University of Saskatchewan has been looking at the long term implications of using livestock manure to fertilize crops. Dr. Jeff Schoenau, a professor with the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Research Chair in Soil Nutrient Management, says typically only a portion of manure nutrients are available in the first year of application.

Clip-Dr. Jeff Schoenau-University of Saskatchewan:
For example in the case of solid cattle manure penning material out of a cattle pen, a lot of the nitrogen in that cattle penning manure is in the organic form and it’s only slowly released into available form that the crop can use. We might see for example in our trials only 10 or 20 percent of the nitrogen in that solid cattle manure made available in the year of application. That’s in contrast to a liquid manure source, for example liquid swine manure, where a high proportion of the nitrogen in that manure is in the available form, for example maybe 60 to upwards of 90 percent. In that case the nitrogen is in high availability and we get a very good response to the nitrogen in the year of application. However the effect in terms of its persistence over a number of years tends to be less compared to a solid manure source where we’re adding a lot of organic nitrogen.  Phosphorus in manure, we typically find maybe 50 to 70 percent availability of phosphorus in manure compared to commercial fertilizer. In the case of potassium, manures are very good sources of potassium. Some manures are low in sulfur. For example liquid swine manure is low in available sulfur sometimes such that we find a response to supplemental commercial fertilizer sulfur when we’re using swine manure as a nutrient source growing a high sulfur demanding crop.

Dr. Schoenau, notes you’ve got a lot of nutrients that contribute to yield response and the added organic matter can help crop growth through its ability to store water and aid in soil structure and microbial activity.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork