Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Fall 2000

Manure and residue management

by Paul Miller, USDA–Natural Resources Conservation Service, Des Moines

photoAs autumn approaches, thoughts turn to harvesting the year’s crops. It is also a good time to empty manure storage facilities and return nutrients to the land for next year’s crop. Because manure is applied to the land, management of the crop residue is as important as managing the manure.

If you apply manure to highly erodible land, you need to review your conservation plan and ensure that you can maintain the desired residue levels with your manure application equipment. You also need to keep in mind that Iowa regulations require liquid manure from a confinement operation that is not considered a small animal feeding operation to maintain a 750-foot separation distance from other residences, businesses, churches, schools, and public use areas if the manure is surface applied. This separation distance is not needed if the liquid manure is injected or incorporated within 24 hours of application. If the desired residue levels of a conservation plan cannot be obtained after manure application and subsequent tillage and/or planting operations, then changes need to be made in the equipment or the conservation system on the land.

photoWhen estimating soil loss from a field, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) considers various factors, including the amount of residue on the soil surface and the residue and organic matter buried below the surface. Other factors are the number of tillage passes and the extent of disturbance to the ground. Equipment manufacturers’ have developed and continue to improve injectors that disturb less ground and surface residue. If you are not able to change your manure application equipment or meet the requirements of your conservation plan, you need to visit with the conservationist at your local NRCS office. Additional or different conservation practices may need to be implemented to compensate for the reduced residue levels.

Before applying manure this fall, take time to review your manure management plan and your conservation plan to ensure that they can be implemented effectively. Following both plans will result in proper manure use and good erosion control.

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Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management is published by Iowa State University Extension, with funding support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service through Cooperative Agreement No. 74-6114-8-22. To subscribe or change the address of a current subscription, write to Angela Rieck-Hinz, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011-1010 or call 515-294-9590, fax 515-294-9985 or email: amrieck@iastate.edu. Please indicate you are inquiring about the Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter. The newsletter's coordinators are Angela Rieck-Hinz, extension program specialist, Department of Agronomy, Wendy Powers, environmental extension specialist, Department of Animal Science, and Robert Burns, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; the editor is Jean McGuire, the subscription manager is Rachel Klein, the production designer is Beth Kroeschell, and the web page designer is Liisa Jarvinen.

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