Manure Manager

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Advances in manure application technology improve manure appreciation


May 9, 2016, Winnipeg, Man – The principle of Agra-Gold Consulting says technological advances in manure application have helped foster a much greater appreciation of the fertilizer value of manure.

In recognition of exceptional leadership skills and commitment to protecting Manitoba’s environment through continuous innovation and raising the bar for excellence in nutrient management, Agra-Gold Consulting principle Scott Dick was named as one of two winners of the 2016 Pork Industry Awards presented last month by Manitoba Pork.

Dick, who has been involved in the pork industry for about 15 years, says there’s more awareness that manure has value.

“The nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that we’re applying to the fields are great for growing crops,” Dick says. “What our company tries to work on and do is specifically quantify the amount of nutrients, what does that impact the crop, what starter nutrients may need to be applied to augment the manure and therefore we want to ensure that we put it down as accurately as possible.”

“Some of the things that have aided in that process is application technology have increased significantly,” he adds. “Almost all of the applicators we work with have auto steer in their tractors.”

“They’ve got mapping systems in there that record as they’re applying so we can give as applied maps to the producers to show what did we cover, what did we leave out so that they can know and bank on the nutrients that are there and I think one of the focuses in our company as well is there’s a lot of manure tests that are taken that is sent off to the lab so we can quantify those values more precisely.”

Dick says manure is actually more valuable than synthetic fertilizer because there’s a lot more to manure that helps the soil and that helps the plants.

He says compounds in manure that you don’t get with synthetic fertilizer help improve the soil and there’s a lot of micronutrients that a farmer wouldn’t necessary apply that aid the crop.