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Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.
Farmers who use hog manure, chicken litter or other forms of "animal-supplied nitrogen" don’t want their investment to vanish into thin air. But that’s exactly what happens to a large percentage the nitrogen in manure.
"Even with the best management practices, you’re losing about 60% of the nitrogen when urea converts to ammonia," says Matt Werner, SFP research coordinator.
SFP has developed a product that may combat further volatilization and leeching called More Than Manure (MTM). MTM converts ammonia to ammonium when treated into manure storage pits or lagoons. It is water soluble, biodegradable, noncorrosive and easy to use, Werner says.
"Just dump it in your pit and forget about it," he says. "It’s a once-a-year application."
Results from 46 corn trials in 2010-12 show an average 9.7 bu. per acre yield advantage from using the fertilizer manager. SFP has posted these results online sortable by crop, state and year. Werner says the company has partnered with the University of Idaho and hopes to conduct studies with other universities to better define the science behind how MTM works.
SFP is one of several companies developing products that make "mightier manure." Have you tried any of them on your operation? What results did you see?
Missouri farmer Dennis Clark pours a jug of MTM into one of his hog barn's deep pit system. His farm is testing the product to see what benefits it will bring.
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