Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
Streamlining manure nutrient management in Ohio


June 8, 2010
By OSU Extension

Topics

June 7, 2010, Columbus, OH
– Livestock manure has always been an important source of fertilizer for crops
in Ohio. However, Ohio agriculture is under increasing environmental, social,
and economic pressure to apply manure in ways that maximize the utilization of
nutrients, protect surface and ground water, and provide assurance to the
public that steps are being taken to prevent pollution from affecting their
health and the environment.


June 7, 2010, Columbus, OH
– Livestock manure has always been an important source of fertilizer for crops
in Ohio. However, Ohio agriculture is under increasing environmental, social,
and economic pressure to apply manure in ways that maximize the utilization of
nutrients, protect surface and ground water, and provide assurance to the
public that steps are being taken to prevent pollution from affecting their
health and the environment.

While all will agree that
manure provides valuable nutrients, not all realize there is great variation in
manure nutirent content – not all manure is created equal! If you believe it
is, or that all manures are even similar, or that published manure book values have
any validity at all, then you will benefit by taking about 30 spare minutes of
your time and view an on-line presentation which graphically compares four
different Fairfield County beef feedlot manure samples!

While many of Ohio’s
livestock operations have developed written plans or strategies to properly
utilize manure, the majority have not. There are many possible reasons for this
lack of planning. However, few producers have had the expertise, training or
tools needed to help them develop their own nutrient management plans.

To help remedy this
problem and to get more producers engaged in nutrient management planning the
OSU Extension Environmental Management Team developed an easy to use Nutrient Management Workbook. The workbook enables producers
applying livestock manure to quickly and accurately develop their own manure
management plans. By following the steps outlined in the booklet and completing
the enclosed worksheets, producers are able to balance available manure nutrients
to the nutrient needs of the crops to be grown during the year. The workbook
also focuses on basic issues that help minimize the risk of runoff and
pollution associated with land application of animal manure. Paper copies of
the workbook are now available for producers to use and an electronic version
of the nutrient management workbook is coming soon.

A nutrient management plan
can provide some opportunity for protection against nuisances and can also help
promote a positive image of environmental stewardship. The Ohio Department of
Natural Resources
, Division of Soil and Water Resources, encourages livestock
producers who do not have nutrient management plans to use the nutrient
management workbook and work with their OSU Extension or SWCD office on getting
a plan developed for their farm operation.

On a limited basis and
while funding lasts, The Division of Soil and Water Resources is offering
funding ranging from $100 to $300 for producers that use manure as a fertilizer
source and complete the nutrient management workbook and use it as the basis to
develop an SWCD board approved plan. Producer payments are based on the pounds
of P205 the individual actually land applies under his/her NMW plan. In order
to be eligible for funding a nutrient management plan must be approved by the
local SWCD board of supervisors, the plan must include:

  1. Soil tests for fields
    included in the plan that are dated no more than three years prior to approval.
  2. Completed nutrient
    management workbook field sheets for each field where manure application is
    planned.
  3. Maps of each field where
    manure is to be applied. (sensitive areas should be identified).
  4. Agreement to NRCS practice
    standards for manure application, signed by the board and producer.

Producers that already
have approved nutrient management plans by the SWCD board of supervisors are
not eligible to receive funding. For more information on the Nutrient
Management Workbook
, contact Farifield SWCD at 740-653-8154 or OSU Extension in
Fairfield County at 740-653-5419. While supplies last, copies of the nutrient
management workbook are available for free. Additional workbooks may be
purchased from OSU Extension for $3 per copy.