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Swine Manure Boosts Yields Without Harming the Environment

by 5m Editor
15 September 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1342. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1342

Research underway in Southeastern Manitoba shows swine manure, applied at optimum rates, can dramatically increase forage yields without hurting the environment.

Scientists with PFRA are at the midway point of a Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative funded project which is examining 'hog manure application to forages'.

The project is looking at various aspects of applying hog manure including timing and rates, what species are best adapted and impact on the environment.

PFRA District Soil Conservationist in Beausejour Steve Sager says the focus is to maximize crop yields without leaving excess nutrients in the soil.

"To date we've seen a real increase in forage production in all of our fertility trials.

We've seen increases, in comparison to our check, of upwards of four to five times the yield. The average would be, at 100 to 120 pounds nitrogen, an increase of three times the rate compared to the check.

The big thing is, we want to make sure the nutrients that we're applying are taken up in the crop so it's kind of a balance of applying to meet crop yield.

Once you get over a certain critical level the crop can't take up that nitrogen so that nitrogen might be more prone to leaching throughout the soil profile or it could be lost other ways, either through volatilization or runoff.

That's the environmental aspect of it, trying to have as much efficiency from the nitrogen applied as possible".

The project is currently scheduled to continue through next fall.

Sager says researchers are keeping tabs on residual nitrogen and whether nitrogen is leaching though the soil or being lost to the atmosphere.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor