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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING SOIL AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Title: Calculation of Manure Production and Excretion of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium by Dairy Cattle in the Comarca Lagunera

item Viramontes, Uriel -
item Hernandez, Gregorio -
item Delgado, Jorge
item Cueto-Wong, Jose -

Submitted to: Terra Latinoamerica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2009
Publication Date: September 10, 2009
Citation: Viramontes, U., Hernandez, G., Delgado, J.A., Cueto-Wong, J. 2009. Calculation of Manure Production and Excretion of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium by Dairy Cattle in the Comarca Lagunera. Terra Latinoamerica. p. 128-151.

Interpretive Summary: In dairy farms, it is important to estimate the volume of manure produced, as well as the content of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in manure that is land-applied. With this information, it is possible to make “nutrient management plans” that would reduce fertilizer use and production costs. Some of the “Best Management Practices” recommended for sustainable use of dairy manure in Mexico are: 1) Estimate manure and waste water production according to the dairy herd; 2) Analyze manure for available nutrient content; 3) Account for the N and P requirements of forage crops; 4) Estimate manure rates according to the amount of N or P available for crop uptake. There are other options for manure management, such as composting and anaerobic digestion, that can complement the nutrient cycling within the farm.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study is to show how to calculate dairy manure production and the manure content of N, P and K. At the regional level, 7.5 x 106 ton yr-1 of fresh manure is produced, with 12.3% of dry matter (DM) content, for a total of 925,000 ton yr-1 (DM). Total N excreted is 46,200 ton yr-1, with 54% present in feces. Average N concentration in land-applied manure is 1.6 %. Manure N could be land-applied in 47% of the area harvested with forage crops in the Comarca Lagunera, assuming 200 kg ha-1 and a mineralization rate of 45%. P excretion from P2O5 is 17,480 ton yr-1, 93% of which corresponds to feces. P concentration in land-applied manure is 0.54%, so it could be possible to apply 80 kg ha-1 of P2O5 in 107,062 ha, with a 75% mineralization rate. This information can be used across this region to help farmers make nutrient management plans that would reduce fertilizer use and production cost and reduce environmental pollution across the area. New tools like the Mexico Nitrogen Index could also be used as an adaptive management tool to guide manure applications that will be in synchronization with crop nutrient uptake and with soil and water conservation.

Last Modified: 11/26/2015
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