North Dakota State University provides manure fertility sampling assistance
April 29, 2011
As the growing season approaches, producers will be applying livestock manures as fertilizer.
But first, they should sample the manures for nutrients, said North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service nutrient management specialist Chris Augustin.
At a request from producers, Augustin and NDSU Extension livestock nutrient management specialist Teresa Dvorak will go to farms and sample livestock manures for nutrients at no cost to the producers.
The nutrient management specialists also want their farm visit to be an educational opportunity for producers.
“We will teach the producer how to sample manure properly and how to determine agronomic manure application rates,” Augustin said.
Published manure nutrient values can be used for planning, but manure needs to be sampled to verify its fertility.
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“On one hand, you can overapply nutrients, which might cause an adverse effect to the environment,” Dvorak said. “On the other hand, you also might shortchange yourself the fertility of the manure, resulting in reduced crop yields.”
In addition to helping producers this year, Dvorak and Augustin hope the data they collect will help producers in the future. They plan to use the data to create a publication that covers nutrients found in North Dakota manures. Cooperating producers will remain anonymous.
“We want 100 samples this spring and 100 samples this fall,” Augustin said. “This project has funding for three years.”
Dvorak and Augustin plan to sample various manures types from livestock on varying diets and from different storage methods.
“The book values we have been using for nutrient management plans are from other areas of the United States,” Augustin said. “We believe that North Dakota producers like North Dakota numbers, and this is one project that will provide that information.”
For more information or to enroll in this program, contact Dvorak at 701-483-2348 or Augustin at 701-652-2951.