Submitted to: University of Minnesota Special Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2008
Publication Date: November 3, 2008
Citation: Russelle, M.P. 2008. Manure: a 'green' approach to forage fertilization. University of Minnesota Special Publication. 4(2):2. Technical Abstract: On average, dairy cows excrete twice as much manure as milk. As a result, dairy farmers are faced with finding additional land for manure applications as herd size and/or productivity increase. Manure application before forage seeding is a good practice, as long as the manure is applied at appropriate rates and is well mixed with the soil. If the herd includes diseased animals, manure should not be applied to the herbage of perennial forages because disease organisms will be transmitted back to the herd in the forage. Ensiling may reduce the number of viable organisms. Injected manure reduces contamination of the forage and increases the storage options for the feed. Manure should be applied as soon as is practical after harvest and when soil condition is adequate to withstand high axle loads. Farmers often apply manure at the end of the forage stand, but the economic value of the legume N credit and the manure N credit can be lost. If manure must be applied to terminated forage land, farmers should consider harvesting the regrowth and using no-till establishment of the corn to minimize the legume N credit.