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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Managing Manure to Achieve Maximum Value

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Mc Neill, Michael - AG ADVISORY LTD

Submitted to: Watershed Management Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 21, 2002
Publication Date: June 21, 2002
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Mc Neill, M. 2002. Managing Manure to Achieve Maximum Value. Watershed Management Conference Proceedings. American Farm Bureau. Chicago, Illinois. p. 19-28.

Technical Abstract: Manure is an asset to soil productivity and crop production. The current assumption is that more manure is produced today than throughout history in the United States. Analysis of animal production numbers for the past 50 years shows that less manure is produced because of reduced animal production. There is a shift in concentration of animals so that more manure is available within smaller areas. Addition of manure to soil has impacts beyond supplying N, P, or K. The value of manure may be associated with the organic carbon additions in the manure. It has been difficult to quantify these impacts because the length of record in many studies has been too short to allow for large enough changes to be detected. The changes that occur within the soil profile as a result of manure addition are caused by the addition of organic matter to the soil. Incorporation of manure with tillage can offset some of these gains because of the disturbance of the soil profile and the short-term increase in soil respiration. There are benefits of manure addition to soil in terms of crop yield, restoring soil productivity, and sequestration of carbon. Manure is a valuable resource that has a number of liabilities associated with its current use. It is considered a waste and often handled and applied as a waste. Manure is a valuable source of organic carbon and nutrients to the soil and can be managed in a way that enhances soil and crop productivity. The challenge to us is to show the value of manure to convince people that we have a unique and valuable product of importance to the viability and sustainability of agriculture.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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