Iowa crop and livestock farmers, as top producers of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, and other ag products – are in an advantageous position economically and environmentally. Not only do livestock producers enjoy the benefits of locally grown crops for the feed that they need, but crop producers also enjoy the benefits of using manure as a nutrient source.
To help farmers make the most of Iowa's available manure nutrient resources, Iowa State University Extension has updated its publication, "Using Manure Nutrients for Crop Production" - PMR 1003. The updated version is based on new research information that has become available.
Use manure to cut your fertilizer bill
"The publication will help producers manage manure applications for best use as a nutrient resource and so, help reduce fertilizer requirements. This can help provide for good crop production and minimize environmental influences," says John Sawyer, ISU Extension soil fertility and nutrient management specialist.
Sawyer is a co-author of the publication. "This publication incorporates new research findings, including updates for estimating manure nutrient availability to the crop," he says. "This includes first-year availability, and when appropriate, subsequent crop-year availability." Also, the publication has examples for determining the manure application rates needed to meet crop fertilization requirements from manure sources.
The publication has in-depth discussion on managing manure nutrients for crop production - especially manure nutrient characteristics, similarity and differences to fertilizer nutrients, manure nutrient processing in soils, and management practices that can affect nutrient supply and success as a nutrient resource for growing crops. "This information will be of interest to both crop and livestock producers, as well as agency personnel and crop advisers," says Sawyer.
The revised publication can be purchased or downloaded from the ISU Extension online store. (www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PMR1003.pdf)