Manure management study shows bedding matters


Manure management study shows bedding matters

An ongoing study aims to help farmers manage manure more efficiently.

University of Minnesota Extension manure management specialist Melissa Wilson is leading the research.

“I started my position here in 2017, and one of the first things we wanted to look at is our nutrient availability factors, or how we recommend determining how much nitrogen or phosphorus might be released from manure over time.”

The manures studied include bedded beef pack, swine finishing, raw dairy, liquid separated dairy, composted chicken layer manure, and turkey litter.

She tells Brownfield one of the key takeaways so far is that the amount of bedding matters.

“The bedded beef pack, we actually had two different beddings versus one. One year it was corn stalks and the other it was more of a hay type of bedding, and we definitely had some issues with the nitrogen release.”

Wilson says overall, first year yields were lower than expected and there wasn’t much nitrogen carryover into year two for some of the manures.  She attributes at least some of that to wet conditions in 2018 and 2019.

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