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Optimizing manure from two-cell earthen storage lagoons


June 17, 2015, Winnipeg, Man – Research set to kick off this summer will help manure applicators optimize the nutrients contained in manure stored in two-cell earthen manure storage lagoons.

The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative, in partnership with Agra-Gold Consulting, is exploring beneficial management practices intended to optimize the removal, transportation and land application of nutrients from two-cell earthen manure storage lagoons on grow-finish operations.

John Carney, the executive director of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative, explained a two-cell manure storage lagoon consists of a primary cell where many of the solids settle and a secondary cell which has a higher water content, providing the hog farm with two different nutrient profiles that helps them managed their manure storage.

“The focus on this project is to use three different techniques in terms of varying the sequence and the timing of activities around the emptying of the storage, based on the phosphorus needs of the farm and the phosphorus profile of the soils,” said Carney. “Phosphorus is certainly the nutrient that we hear a lot about and what some people don’t realize is just how precious phosphorus is. It is a limited resource and plants do need it for growth.”

“The challenge is making sure that we have the phosphorus where the crops are and the needs for the phosphorus and feeding the crops are,” he added. “By relocating phosphorus within Manitoba, we’re able to reduce the amount of phosphorus that we import and so it’s a recycling concept and redistribution concept.”

Carney said the hope is this work will provide insight into better ways that nutrient planners can work with manure applicators and producers to vary their activities around emptying a two-cell manure storage and reduce the amount of phosphorus that needs to be transported, optimizing the nitrogen rich liquid closer to the farm.


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