Manure Manager

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Will we be side-dressing manure in the future?


June 27, 2011
By Natalie Rector Amanda Meddles and Glen Arnold; Michigan State University Extension and Ohio State U

Topics

June 17, 2011 – The 2011 spring is a
reminder of how few days we may have to complete all our spring work; there may
not be an opportunity for manure application. Ohio State University has been successfully
testing a dragline system of manure application as a side-dress application on
corn. This can increase the application window of manure and apply nitrogen at
a critical time for the corn plant. This can offset the cost of nitrogen
fertilizer, replacing it with manure applications that were going to occur
anyway. 
June 17, 2011 – The 2011 spring is a
reminder of how few days we may have to complete all our spring work; there may
not be an opportunity for manure application. Ohio State University has been successfully
testing a dragline system of manure application as a side-dress application on
corn. This can increase the application window of manure and apply nitrogen at
a critical time for the corn plant. This can offset the cost of nitrogen
fertilizer, replacing it with manure applications that were going to occur
anyway. 

Is this cost effective and
does it produce equivalent corn yields to side-dressed fertilizer? Results at
OSU say yes. A PDF report on the financial implications is available.

A project in Wood County,
Ohio, is comparing side-dress applications of manure to conventional 28 percent
UAN and dairy manure. The manure side-dressing unit has a “spool” that lays the
dragline down as the tractor moves one direction down the field, and then picks
the dragline up on the next pass and so on. It reduces odors by injecting
manure into the ground where it is less exposed to air and wind movement. It
also allows producers to apply manure into the summer as one would with
conventional side-dressing applications.

The research project will
look at the viable corn plant population for silage as well as grain corn
yield. Being able to side-dress manure with a dragline may be the answer to
expanding the manure application window, reducing compaction and, anytime
manure is injected, odors are reduced. This project should answer the question
of whether the method provides more benefit to crop yields and silage mass than
conventional 28 percent UAN. We are also slurry seeding fescue and rye grass
into some of the plots during the manure side-dress application to see if it
will provide a viable forage crop after silage harvest.

Watch a video of the dragline side-dress
equipment in action.