Alternative Manure Application Windows for Better Nutrient Utilization
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Alternative Manure Application Windows for Better Nutrient Utilization

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Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67586 ...

Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67586

The Maumee River watershed contributes 3% of the water but more than 40% of the nutrients entering Lake Erie. Data from the Ohio Tributary Loading Program has identified increasing levels of dissolved reactive phosphorus as the prime suspect in the recurrence of harmful algal blooms within Lake Erie. Livestock manure represents approximately 25% of the phosphorus applied in the watershed and can be a source of dissolved reactive phosphorus.

Presented by: Amanda Douridas

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Alternative Manure Application Windows for Better Nutrient Utilization Alternative Manure Application Windows for Better Nutrient Utilization Presentation Transcript

  • Alternative Manure Application Windows for Better Nutrient UtilizationAmanda Douridas, Extension Educator; Glen Arnold, Field Specialist; The Ohio State University ExtensionIntroductionThe Maumee River watershed contributes 3% of the water but more than 40% of thenutrients entering Lake Erie. Data from the Ohio Tributary Loading Program hasidentified increasing levels of dissolved reactive phosphorus as the prime suspect inthe recurrence of harmful algal blooms within Lake Erie. Livestock manure representsapproximately 25% of the phosphorus applied in the watershed and can be a sourceof dissolved reactive phosphorus. Grand Lake St. Marys is Ohio’s largest inland lake at12,700 acres. In the last few years, the lake has had serious harmful algal blooms as aresult of high phosphorus loading. The watershed has 59,160 acres draining into it, ofwhich 90% are dedicated to crop and livestock production. Traditionally in Ohio,manure applications are made to bare fields where a growing crop may not bepresent for up to 10 months. This greatly increases the risk for nutrients to move offsite with rain events and is an inefficient use of nutrients. Reducing nutrient runofffrom manure applications is an important step in improving Ohio water quality.Project ObjectivesOur objective is to find alternative application windows where growing crops canimmediately utilize nutrients reducing the opportunity for nutrients to move offsite.Keeping nutrients in the field and out of Ohio’s waterways will maximize nutrient useefficiency and improve water quality. Two alternative application windows currentlybeing studied are applying liquid swine manure as a spring top‐dress nitrogen sourcefor soft red winter wheat and side‐dressing corn with manure in the spring to meetthe nitrogen needs of the crop for the growing season. The potential to use liquidmanure on growing crops opens a new window of opportunity to reduce phosphorusloading into Ohio lakes.Wheat PlotsField‐scale randomized block design replicated plots were conducted onfarms. Liquid swine manure was surface applied and incorporated on all plotsusing a Peecon toolbar and compared to urea (46‐0‐0) fertilizer surfaceapplied with a fertilizer buggy for wheat yield. Manure applications weremade using a standard 5,000 gallon manure tanker in early April after thewheat had broken dormancy and field conditions were deemed suitable.Manure was applied at rates to approximate the nitrogen amount in the ureatreatments.Corn PlotsRandomized block design replicated plots were conducted on an OhioAgricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) branch farm. Thetreatments included fall and spring applied swine manure. Fall treatmentswere topdressed on bare ground then incorporated with a tillage tool. Theseincluded straight manure and manure plus a nitrogen inhibitor. Wheat wasplanted to all plots then killed in the spring and followed with a corn crop. Adirect injection manure application was made to the corn that had notreceived manure in the fall using a four row Dietrich toolbar. A check andcommercial fertilizer treatments were included for comparison purposes.Corn Plot Research FindingsWith a probability level of 0.05 and an LSD of 18.26, spring applied directlyinjected manure yielded significantly higher than both fall treatments.Commercial fertilizer was significantly higher than all other treatments. Therewas no statistical difference between the two fall treatments and nodifference between the inhibitor treatment and the no fertilizer check.Wheat Yield 3‐Year Manure vs Urea Summary Wheat Plot Research FindingYields between surface applied swine finishing manure, incorporated swinefinishing manure and urea were not statistically different in any of the fourfields during this three‐year project. Swine manure performed as well as ureawhen yields were high and when yields were below average. The opportunity toutilize swine finishing manure as a spring fertilizer source for soft red winterwheat will save farmers approximately $70 per acre over purchased ureafertilizer. Applying swine manure to a growing crop will also result in thenitrogen and phosphorus being better utilized by the growing wheat cropresulting in less nutrients escaping the field.Above: Peecon toolbar applying swine manure to wheat in the spring.Below: Close up of openings made by the Peecon toolbar.Above: Dietrich toolbar sidedressing corn with manure.Below: Corn sidedressed with manure on the left, fall applied manure on the right.Bottom: Surface applying manure during the fall.