Creating Worth From Waste
Farmers can now get improved nutrient efficiency from manure used as fertilizer.
Livestock generates millions of tons of waste that must be managed in an environmentally sound way.
(NAPSI)—There’s genuine excitement in rural America about what to many may seem a surprising subject: livestock manure. That’s because farmers can get improved nutrient efficiency from it as a natural fertilizer source, the animal waste is easier to handle and apply, and some of the odors associated with release of ammonia gas are being reduced—all thanks to some recent technology available to livestock producers.
When farmers have hundreds or thousands of hogs or dairy or beef cattle, millions of tons of waste are generated that must be managed in an environmentally sound way. In most cases, the manure is held in pits or lagoons before being applied to fields as a rich source of vital nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), both of which are essential to crop growth and health.
The recently developed technology that helps livestock producers manage all this waste more efficiently is More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager, from SFP®, a company that specializes in products that improve fertilizer efficiency. When added to in-ground manure pits and lagoons, MTM can help break up “solids,” making the manure easier to pump, transport and apply. It can also significantly reduce ammonia levels both in livestock confinement areas and on the fields where manure is applied.
For example, take Dean Strauss, who milks roughly 1,900 cows at two Wisconsin locations. He recently tried the product, applying it in and around manure pits and through the direct system that pumps into the pits. “It cut the odor dramatically,” Strauss said. “Anything we can do to address odor issues is good for our workers and our cows, and it helps us be better neighbors to the people who live close to our farming operation.”
In a short time following application, Strauss witnessed a breaking up of crusts and solids in the pits. “The uniformity of the manure for spreading was greatly improved,” he added. “I know we are now getting a better distribution of nutrients across the soil.”
Better Crop Yields
This technology can also help improve nutrient efficiency and plant uptake of P and N from manure used as fertilizer, which leads to better overall crop health and yield increases. Reducing the amount of P that gets locked up in the soil and N losses due to leaching, volatilization and denitrification makes more of both elements available for crop use.
Consider Jack Wyttenbach, a hog producer who has about 1,500 sows and finishes about 25,000 hogs a year. He has experienced a yield increase of 8 bushels per acre on fields of corn fertilized with manure that was treated with MTM. “This yield increase is due to improved nutrient efficiency and uptake,” he said.
Wyttenbach also tries to be environmentally proactive about livestock odors that can wear thin on neighbors. “We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of ammonia gas coming off the manure after using MTM,” he observed.
For more information, see a fertilizer dealer, call 1-888-446-GROW or visit sfp.com.
SFP, More Than Manure and MTM are registered trademarks of Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), LLC. © 2013 SFP. All rights reserved.