Plan now for fall manure applications
by Angie Rieck-Hinz, Department of Agronomy
With harvest time right around the corner, now is an ideal time to plan for fall manure applications. The extended periods of dry, warm weather the past several falls, coupled with early harvests, have given producers more time to apply all stored manure in the fall.
Fall manure applications also have the benefit of good soil conditions. Usually, the soil is drier in the fall than in the spring and fall manure applications made on the right soil conditions can reduce the potential for compaction.
Although fall manure applications can be beneficial, there is also a concern: nutrient availability. Ideally, crop nutrient applications should be made as close as possible to the crop growing season to reduce nutrient loss to the environment through volatilization, leaching, denitrification, or surface runoff. Manure should not be applied until soil temperatures are 50oF and falling. If possible, manure should not be applied to frozen or snow-covered soil.
Other factors to consider when applying manure this fall include the following:
Take soil tests
and determine which fields will benefit most from manure phosphorus (P)
and potassium (K).
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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