Jul 26, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

Bank P&K From Manure, Consider N a Bonus

June 26, 2013
By: Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Editor

manurespreaderMore than one grower has expressed disgust with the weather this spring and today, a theme emerges. "I'm not spending any more money on this crop... period," a grower told Pro Farmer editors. We have talked about N loss nearly to the point of nausea and the weather news just keeps getting worse -- don't shoot, I'm just the messenger. In light of that, we turn our attention to something that can help fill in nutrient gaps, and, chances are you probably already own some... manure.

The nutrient value of manure varies widely by species, feed quality and production purpose. Nitrogen amounts in some cases are as high as phosphate for some species, but the real bang for the manure buck comes from P&K as nitrogen is just as volatile coming from an animal's hind end as from an anhydrous tank. The true benefit of consistently applied manure is in the form of banked P&K and expectations for nitrogen response should be considered a bonus in addition to commercial nitrogen.

Swine manure is the most nutrient rich with the lowest nitrogen content found during lactation. This makes sense as those extra nutrients are directed toward nourishing piglets. The most available nitrogen can be found in swine in the grow-finish stage. At this point, feeding has increased and feeds tend to be more nutrient rich.

Veal manure falls into second place behind post farrow swine with a high N content and an even higher K content. This is related to milk replacements fed to the young animals. Veal manure is extremely rich in all three nutrients. All other forms of cattle manure fall behind veal but are also nutritionally valuable.

Sheep manure is very high in N but lags other manures in P content which is just 8 lbs/ton. Horse manure is N heavy compared to P&K, but often carries a large percentage of ruminated stems and grasses lending carbon and organic material to the soil.

Animal Type
% Dry Matter
Analysis Unit
lbs N/unit
lbs P/unit
lbs K/unit
Dairy cattle: milking cows, liquid
<5
lb/1,000 gal
28
13
25
Dairy cattle: milking cows, solid
12
lb/ton
10
4
8
Dry cow
 
lb/ton
9
3
7
Calf and Heifer
 
lb/ton
7
2
7
Veal
4
lb/1,000 gal
36
27
55
Beef cattle: cow and calf
12
lb/ton
11
7
10
Beef cattle: steer
8
lb/ton
14
5
8
Swine: gestation
4
lb/1,000 gal
30
35
15
Swine: lactation
2
lb/1,000 gal
25
20
15
Swine: nursery
6
lb/1,000 gal
40
40
25
Swine: grow-finish
7
lb/1,000 gal
50
55
25
Swine: farrow to feeder
4
lb/1,000 gal
40
35
15
Sheep
25
lb/ton
23
8
20
Horse
20
lb/ton
12
5
9

Chip Flory offers the quote to end all quotes on this matter, "they poop out what you feed 'em." That may seem obvious, but our recommendation is for a manure nutrient test if you plan to rely on manure for fertilizer. Your local feed supplier can mix in extra nutrients -- usually supplemental K -- that may lack in your feeding program. Again, it is best not to count on manure to fill your nitrogen needs. Volatilization still occurs with organic N so additional commercial applications will still be necessary. But bankable amounts of P&K have been observed in consistent manure applications and this is where the potential savings lies.


*Table adapted from UMass Amherst Agriculture and Landscape Program

Photo credit: dok1 / Foter.com / CC BY

See Comments

RELATED TOPICS: Inputs

 
Log In or Sign Up to comment

COMMENTS

No comments have been posted



Name:

Comments:

Hot Links & Cool Tools

    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

facebook twitter youtube View More>>
 
 
 
 
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions