Sign up for email alerts of new Fluid Journal issues!
Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
1 Fluid Journal Winter 2001 Animal production techniques and trends have changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Today's production operations are increasing in size in order to achieve economies of scale. The total number of animal operations is declining while Clustering goes on in confined geographical locations and operations grow larger in an attempt to spread fixed costs over a larger base. This trend may represent an opportunity for people with foresight. Increasingly smaller pockets of high-density production result in concentrated supplies of manure, often in amounts greater than can be used in surrounding agricultural fields. This problem requires technological, logistical and distribution solutions. Value-addedService Because manure is so plentiful, it is often offered free of charge by animal operations. In areas where the density of animal producers is extremely high, producers may even be willing to pay to have manure removed from their operations. Thus, manure management can represent a value-added service by professional applicators, which can command fees from growers receiving the product as well as for professional application services. In addition to the sale and application of manure products, revenue opportunities for manure nutrient management services can include soil, lagoon, pit and spring nitrate testing. Nutrient management planning, which incorporates as-applied data from both manure and commercial fertilization application into an overall nutrient program, represents another growing revenue opportunity for the service provider. It's no secret that growers, particularly livestock producers, will require agronomic and planning expertise to select and document appropriate manure application rates to comply with environmental regulations by the USDA and EPA Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations. Using nutrient balancing tools contained in spatial data management software products is critical. An on- board mapbased application controller allows local agronomists to work with growers to ensure that proper amounts of nutrient have been applied to the field to meet the grower's business objectives, plus practice environmental stewardship. Efficiency crucial Like all inputs, manure comes at a cost that needs to be justified by an increase in crop revenue. Studies have shown that when manure is applied at crop removal rates, it nets a higher yield per gallon than when applied at higher rates. In other words, the over- application of manure does not increase yields but it does add to the per acre cost of production. University of Northern Iowa research has found that over-application of manure by growers can be in excess Managing Manure As Value-added Service Livestock producers will need to acquire planning expertise to assure application rates comply with governmental regulations. of 300 percent of recommended rates. One county in Iowa had 10,000 hogs in confinement per square mile of cropland producing waste available for manure application, compared to the 1,600 recommended by state guidelines. Inaccurate application methods and equipment that apply manure in areas where it's not needed and in amounts that cannot be used are bad for crops, the grower, and the environment. Map- based application can assure accurate placement as well as document where and when those applications took place. Avoidingcompaction The slow pace of farm equipment often forces growers to apply manure in conditions that are less than optimal, producing unnecessary compaction. Spring soils are more susceptible to leaching, runoff and compaction. Waiting for more ideal conditions simply delays planting. Furthermore, growers typically apply manure on the surface and cross a field a second time to incorporate it into the soil, producing more compaction, requiring more time, and increasing fuel costs. The answer? Employ high-flotation custom applicators that reduce soil compaction while high-rate injection toolbars incorporate nutrients into the soil in one field pass, cutting grower time in the field. Four-step process Achieving accurate and effective manure application to meet specific crop needs requires a four-step process. Craig Jorgessen
Fluid Journal 1996-1998
Fluid Journal 2002-2004