Manure as Fertilizer

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terra8186

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I read somewhere (probably here) that manure N-P-K values can't be compared to granular fertilizer values. I started raising livestock and placing the manure back on my corn for the next years feed. I am wondering if anyone can recommend any good books or articles comparing manure to granular fertilizer.

Along the same subject line. For my corn this year, I put manure down, took soil samples, and added granular fertilizer to the county extensions recommendations. The results this year are very interesting. I am only at knee high corn so far this year.

1) In one area - I cut stalks and fed them to the cattle last year. This corn is about 6 inches shorter then the corn just a few feet away.

2) In one area - I put down heavy manure. This corn is about 6 inches higher.

3) In one area - I never put down manure. This corn is doing the worst.

4) In one area - It was doing bad a couple of weeks ago. I put some chicken manure down before it rained and wow has that turned around.
 

bigbull338

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you can do 2 things to help your corn grow the best.1 is take soil samples.2 have your manure tested for NPK content.then spread the manure accordingly.most cases you can spread 25 tons of manure to the ac.using chicken litter 3 tons to the ac.the reason you have 2 spots of corn taking off an growing good is this they both got a heavy does of manure or litter.an they are both better than comm fert.
 

grannysoo

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bigbull338":1z05fsnd said:
you can do 2 things to help your corn grow the best.1 is take soil samples.2 have your manure tested for NPK content.then spread the manure accordingly.most cases you can spread 25 tons of manure to the ac.using chicken litter 3 tons to the ac.the reason you have 2 spots of corn taking off an growing good is this they both got a heavy does of manure or litter.an they are both better than comm fert.

Good advice.
 

novaman

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Manure has many advantages over commercial fertilizer. Manure adds organic matter which adds tilth to the soil. There is also micronutrients in manure that wouldn't be found in a commercial fertilizer.
 

SRBeef

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jedstivers":cag8y9bo said:
Not enough N on your spots that are worse.

Corn height differences between adjacent treatments this time of year is usually a function of nitrogen as jed mentions.

Planting date and heat units are also big factors in corn height but I am assuming your plots were planted at the same time ande have had the same heat units.

Seed to soil contact is another possible variable. In heavy stalk residue with heavy surface applied manure your planter setup may have worked differently delaying germination. A lot of variables enter into it not just a simple manure demonstration.

Knee high by the fourth of July in Michigan this year may be quite an accomplishment.

There are some test plots at the University of Illinois called the Morrow test plots and have been maintained as plots since about 1900. They were started to demonstate the benefits of adding manure in different ways to different crops and in different amounts at a time when farmers largely mined the fertile prairie soils then moved on.

Some of these test plots stopped receiving manure around 1950 almost 50 years ago after receiving it for 50 years. There was a careful study done that proved that there were still stistically significant benefits/yields from manure even though there has been none applied to these plots for 50 years!

You can look this up somewhere but yes manure is good but nitrogen needs to be there and in a form available to the plant. Just applying manure even with a good N analysis doesd NOT measn it is all available to this year's corn crop! Chicken litter is probably more immediately available N than cattle manure. fwiw. Jim
 
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terra8186

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most cases you can spread 25 tons of manure to the ac.using chicken litter 3 tons to the ac.

Thanks for this information. I never really knew how much to put down.

Planting date and heat units are also big factors in corn height but I am assuming your plots were planted at the same time ande have had the same heat units.

I am only growing a couple of acres of corn., so the plants are all right next to each other.

My original post may sound like I am complaining about how my corn is doing. After the last 2 years attempts to grow corn, this is the first year my corn is actually doing good. It was knee high 2 days ago now that we had some heat it has grown another foot or two.

The second part of my post was about how when I planted this year, I didn't think I would see that much affects of the manure on the corn. I was amazed at the difference in the initial ground & fertilizer preparation made a difference.

I also didn't think it would make that much of a difference on the growing corn if I removed the cornstalks and just put down fertilizer back in the soil. It makes me think that bailing cornstalks is a bad practice unless you return manure and straw to the area. It seems like the organic material from the cornstalks makes a difference.

Jim that Morrow study sounds interesting.

Thanks for responses
 

mnmtranching

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Manure is great fertilizer. Tough thing is, getting it spread evenly, so your going to have much more up and down then when using evenly spread chemical fertilizer. Also there's a big difference in whether your spreading say, fresh manure opposed to decaying stuff. Actually it's the urine in manure that adds the most to the N content. So the fresher the manure/urine the better N.
 

Jogeephus

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If you are interested in buying a pretty good book you might want to pick up the Encylopedia of Organic Gardening. It has a lot of useful information in it. Fresh cow manure has this makeup 0.29,1.50,1.25. Based on this it would appear that it won't do much good but as mentioned it does more to the soil than just adding nutrients. What they say is it 1. improves tilth and structure 2. improves water holding capacity 3. aids in nitrogen fixation 4. makes nutrients available to plants. So in all, it does a lot more than just add 3 nutrients like commercial fertilizer does.

I did a little experiment last year in a dry garden. I put a bunch of manure in it and though we were in a terrible drought the soil stayed relatively moist and I made a bumper crop so I think ammending the structure of the soil through the enhancement of the microbes, water holding capacity and the aeration is one of the biggest bonuses from using manure.

Here are a few more breakdowns of things

Horse manure .44,.17,.35
chicken litter 2,1.88,1.85
rabbit manure 2.4, .62,.05
cornstalks .75,.40,.90
pig manure .6, .41, .13
alfalfa hay 2.45, .50, 2.10
 

novaman

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mnmtranching":1v75sfq6 said:
Actually it's the urine in manure that adds the most to the N content. So the fresher the manure/urine the better N.
This statement is partially right. There is a good amount of nitrogen locked in the organic matter in the manure. As it decomposes nitrogen is released into the soil in a plant available form. So while the nitrogen test appears to be very low on most manures, it is actually much higher when all things are considered. It is a slow release from of nitrogen, which is most beneficial. Most commericial fertilizers are immediately available and must be taken up quickly or lost due to leaching. Many times it isn't possible to apply the amount of nitrogen needed via commericial fertilizer for an entire growing season without pollution concerns.
 

mnmtranching

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novaman":36qb9rgk said:
mnmtranching":36qb9rgk said:
Actually it's the urine in manure that adds the most to the N content. So the fresher the manure/urine the better N.
This statement is partially right. There is a good amount of nitrogen locked in the organic matter in the manure. As it decomposes nitrogen is released into the soil in a plant available form. So while the nitrogen test appears to be very low on most manures, it is actually much higher when all things are considered. It is a slow release from of nitrogen, which is most beneficial. Most commericial fertilizers are immediately available and must be taken up quickly or lost due to leaching. Many times it isn't possible to apply the amount of nitrogen needed via commericial fertilizer for an entire growing season without pollution concerns.

Just kind of funny why you would feel the need to argue about that. :lol: :lol:
 

dyates

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jedstivers":27vjc4f8 said:
Not enough N on your spots that are worse.

Removing the stalks removes a lot of potash and some phosphorus, but very little N. Stubble also retains moisture in the soil. Lack of N may not be as bad as the inability to use it.
 

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