Making the Most Out of Your Manure Confinement Site Manure Management Workshops

Jim Fawcett, Field Specialist-Crops, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

There is increased concern among the general public about the effects of livestock production on the environment and the quality of life in Iowa. Livestock producers apply manure every year to their fields. Failure to account for the nutrients present in the manure can lead to over application of nutrients, lower profits, and increased risk of water pollution. Some producers routinely apply manure to the same fields or portion of fields that have no need for P & K, while they have other land that they could apply the manure to and be able to reduce purchased fertilizer applications. Many producers with livestock in confinement have to develop manure management plans to meet environmental regulations.

Programmatic Response:

A powerpoint program titled Meeting P-Index Requirements for Manure Management Plans and Making the Most Out of Your Manure was developed and shared with other crop specialists to be used for the 2007 confinement site manure management workshops. In addition to reviewing soil sampling and testing techniques and utilizing local research results showing the value of manure, producers were educated on recent nutrient management concerns, including potassium deficiency problems on manured fields and changes in nutrient requirements for corn planted corn ground.

Impact/Outcome:

Over 150 producers attended the six manure management workshops that I taught with Greg Brenneman in southeast Iowa. 97% (N=93) rated the program as excellent or good and 99% said that the presenters were prepared and knowledgeable. 89% indicated that the information presented was useful to their farm operation. 74% said that they had tested their manure because of the manure management workshops and 62% had adjusted their manure applications based on the results. 39% had decreased their rate of application based on test results, which would have not only resulted in increased profits, but decreased the risk of environmental contamination.

April 5, 2007
160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

Page last updated: April 11, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu