More Bang from Your Manure Buck

Mar 12, 2021
$100 per acre extra value from applying manure after corn planting! Did that catch your attention? Nutrient-use efficiency is highest when the nutrients are applied to a growing crop. Field damage from compaction is reduced when field work is performed on relatively dry, well structured soils with good tilth and organic matter levels. Timely planting of corn ahead of manure application can save time and equipment logistics in addition to maximizing heat unit accumulation for the corn crop. (Figure 1 & 2)
Although there is a difference between the composition of various types of liquid manure, injected hog manure and anaerobic digestate are two types that are well suited to provide the nutrients required by a rapidly growing corn crop at side-dress timing.
Corn yields are maximized with a well fertilized crop, however fields where manure has been applied will often outyield fields fertilized with commercial products. The advantage could be the combination of micronutrients, organic matter and microbial stimulation. Liquid manure that is high in ammonium nitrogen (hog manure, anaerobic digestate) is especially well suited for application into a standing corn crop. Table 1 shows that corn with hog manure applied at side-dress timing consistently out-yielded corn with commercial nitrogen applied. The data was collected from a six year on-farm trial in Ohio, conducted by Glen Arnold, Ohio State U. Extension Specialist in Manure Management. The study showed results similar to small-plot research trials.
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