Manure Manager

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Manure equals money in your pockets


June 24, 2008
By Donna Speranzini OMAFRA Nutrient Management Program Lead Horticulture

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Manure equals money in your pockets

Farmers are coming up to side-dress
time and with fertilizer prizes through the roof, knowing the nutrient
value of your manure application is well worth the effort. No need to
apply costly fertilizers if they are already on the field.

Farmers are coming up to side-dress time and with fertilizer prizes through the roof, knowing the nutrient value of your manure application is well worth the effort. No need to apply costly fertilizers if they are already on the field.

There are several ways of doing this – some that take more time to do than others. I recently found what I think is the best and easiest way to identify the nutrient value from manure for this year’s crop, and the best part is, it was developed by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Economic Development Division staff.

Now, don't get me wrong. Taking an accurate and representative manure sample at the time of application and sending it to an accredited lab for analysis is by far the most accurate best management practice. Some labs will even give you the nutrient value and then fertilizer replacement dollar value of the manure on your sample report.

If you are a producer regulated under the nutrient management act, you no doubt have used the new NMAN2 computer program – another great way to get accurate fertilizer replacement values from manure. The database of average manure analysis is complete and represents all the manure samples submitted to accredited Ontario soil testing labs up until 2007.

But if you are a cash cropper or a horticulture producer and you use manure, the easiest way by far to determine the nutrient value is to use the Ontario Manure Nutrients calculator. This quick one page spreadsheet allows you to input your manure analysis data or access the complete NMAN2 database. In two minutes or less, you can determine both the nutrients available from your manure to this year's crop as well as the dollar value of those nutrients, based on 2008 fertilizer prices.

Credit to Greg Stewart from OMAFRA for pulling these quick calculations out of the NMAN2 computer program.

Before you sidedress, take a look at www.gocorn.net at the Ontario Manure Nutrient Calculator. Keep your money in your pockets!

Donna Speranzini is the nutrient management program lead for horticulture with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Ontario, Canada.


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