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Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

How Deep Does Manure Need To Be Incorporated?

Dec 14, 2010

Question: When manure is applied to fields, how deep does it need to be incorporated? Does it need to be covered with soil, or will the crop residue with a small amount of soil work just as well?

Answer: Most manure nitrogen is lost through volatilization. Incorporating by mixing soil instead of burying the manure under the soil is most effective. Typically incorporation of 3 inches to 6 inches is very effective. Covering the manure with soil will be most effective; residue alone will not reduce volatilization. Residue can help absorb and trap nutrients to reduce potential runoff.
This blog is provided as an interactive way for you to have your questions answered by our Farm Journal Agronomists. E-mail your nitrogen, soil fertility, soil density, planter set-up, scouting, and other questions to:
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