Friday, May 23, 2008

Consider Nutrient Value of Manure

Well, almost. Manure won't truly smell like roses but there is a lot of work being done in the area of manure and manure management. The workshop yesterday was quite interesting and I did learn a lot about manure.

I think the one thing I learned that will stick with me is the nutrient value of manure. I thought that manure was just, well, manure. But John Lory (MU Extension - Environmental Nutrient Management Specialist) said that as feed gets more efficient for animals the nutrient value of the manure decreases. I thought about that for a moment and went, duh, you know that is common sense.

As scientists become more proficient in providing just the right amount of nutrients in the correct amount of feed rations animals need, then there will be fewer nutrients that are not absorbed by the animal and therefore fewer nutrients coming out the other end.

Why is this important? With the price of petroleum rising affecting the cost of fertilizer, some producers may think of cutting back on fertilizer purchases and relying more heavily on manure. But if the manure you spread comes from animals who are feed an efficient diet, will relying on more manure over purchased fertlizers be better in the long run for good crop production?

To learn more about manure nutrient management, send me an email and I can get you hooked up with John who can help you out.

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