Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Spring 1999

Manure Nutrient Management Workshops receive high marks

by Tracy S. Petersen, extension communications

Photo spreaderThe Manure Nutrient Management Workshops offered by Iowa State University extension are reaching their target audience and meeting their educational goals, according to Steve Padgitt, extension sociologist.

"The documentation shows the workshops are reaching a meaningful number and a broad spectrum of producers," said Padgitt, who has conducted follow-up surveys and evaluated the effectiveness of the meetings.

In addition to reaching both large and small producers, the workshops have succeeded in providing active learning and changing practices by livestock producers, he said.

According to survey results, more than 80 percent of those attending the workshops over the past two years raised hogs, while approximately 40 percent of those attending raised cattle.

Seventy percent of those attending the 1997-98 workshops said they developed or revised their manure management plans after the workshop, when surveyed six months afterward.

After attending the workshops, 66 percent made changes in the nutrient credit for manure applied. Forty-eight percent said they changed their manure application rate. Approximately 30 percent of those attending set new, realistic yield goals; changed the location of their manure applications; and developed procedures for keeping field-based records of manure applications.

Those who made changes expected to see financial benefits. Thirty-two percent expected to save $11 to $20 per acre and 24 percent expected a savings of $6 to $10 per acre. More than 70 percent reported decreasing their commercial applications of N, P, and K.

While the changes in operations and practices indicate the success of the workshops, the participants' comments and suggestions do, as well. One producer remarked, "Our operation is 12 sows—two groups of six sows each farrowing 2 times a year….I was in a workshop with much larger producers who had confinements—hoop buildings or fully enclosed—the information covered us all. The binder of information (I’ve found an excellent reference) covers all sizes."

The ISUE Manure Nutrient Management Workshops are funded in part by the Leopold Center For Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University.

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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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