Characteristics of Manure in Bedded Beef Facilities

Russ Euken, Livestock Field Specialist, Northeast

Problem Statement:

Beef feedlot producers have and are continuing to build bedded confinement facilities. Many producers stated that they were increasing nutrients in manure for crop use. Many producers did not have any sample analysis or know what rate of nutrients were being applied.

Programmatic Response:

A project was developed to work with producers with various types of bedded beef facilities and management. Samples of manure from various locations in the buildings and at various times were taken. An Iowa Beef Center minigrant and a Leopold Center on farm demonstration grant was secured to help pay for manure analysis, time, and travel.

Outcome Statement:

Sample analysis showed consistency across building types, sample locations, and operations for moisture, N, P2O5, and K2O levels. The project provided producers a comparison for their own operations and incentive to sample manure.  It also provided data for producers who are considering building bedded confinement facilities.  Finally the project also showed that more nutrients are retained for field application versus an open lot situation. This information was shared in an animal industry report through the animal science department and also at 4 producers meetings with approximately 145 attending and 2 internal meetings with 20 coworkers.  A survey of producers attending some of the meetings indicated that 35% believed manure had less N than analysis, 35% would apply less N from commercial fertilizer, 25% would sample manure, 50% would apply manure over a larger acreage, and 50% would plan to calibrate their spreader.


140  Iowa Beef Center

Page last updated: April 6, 2009
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