Sidedressing manure into corn has promising results

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients. Applying manure to growing crops can boost yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers another window of time to apply manure to farm fields.

Each of the manure plots in Table 1 was conducted over three years at the Northwest Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Hoytville location. The swine manure application rate was 5,000 gallons per acre to get 200 units of nitrogen. The dairy manure application rate was 13,577 gallons per acre to get 130 units of nitrogen. The dairy treatments received additional nitrogen as incorporated 28% UAN just prior to the manure application to reach the 200 unit goal. The 28% UAN treatments also received 200 units of nitrogen.

Pre-emergent applications of 28% UAN, swine manure or dairy manure were made within five days of corn planting. Post-emergent applications of 28% UAN, swine manure and dairy manure were made at the V3 stage of corn growth. All manure applications were made with a 5,200-gallon tanker and Dietrich tool bar with the incorporated manure placed at a five-inch depth. Surface manure was applied by using the Dietrich toolbar held just above ground level.

 

Table 1

Manure Sidedress of Corn Research Plots – Three Year Summary

2011

2012

2013

3-year average

 

Yield bu/ac

Yield bu/ac

Yield bu/ac

Yield bu/ac

Pre-emergent treatments

 

 

 

 

Incorporated 28% UAN

138.1

111.5

184.6

144.7

Incorporated swine manure

191.9

128.6

191.8

170.8

Surface applied swine manure

180.9

109.5

175.7

155.4

Incorporated dairy manure + 28% UAN

190.1

132.0

185.4

169.2

Surface applied dairy manure + 28% UAN

184.5

97.0

166.0

149.2

 

Post-emergent treatments

Incorporated 28% UAN

132.7

116.0

181.9

143.5

Incorporated swine manure

180.8

138.4

196.7

172.0

Surface applied swine manure

178.0

116.4

188.0

160.8

Incorporated dairy manure + 28% UAN

180.0

138.8

192.0

170.3

Surface applied dairy manure + 28% UAN

170.5

101.6

181.5

151.2

 

Zero nitrogen check

74.4

62.6

82.0

72.9

 

Stand populations were approximately 28,000 plants per acre across all treatments. The manure did not appear to reduce the plot stands in any year. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons experienced moderate to severe drought conditions and the manure treatments appeared to benefit from the moisture contained in the manure.

Incorporated manure treatments produced higher yields than the surface applied treatments. This is probably due to less nitrogen being lost when the manure was incorporated. On-farm research plots have also shown that incorporating manure results in higher yields than surface applied manure. Incorporation of manure can result in less nitrogen loss, less odor, and can reduce the loss of phosphorus from the fields.

A drag hose treatment has been added in 2014 to determine what stand damage and potential yield loss may occur from the V1 to the V5 stage. The use of autosteer and a drag hose to incorporate swine and dairy manure in corn could open a six-week window for commercial manure applicators to apply manure early in the growing season.

Additional on-farm manure sidedress plot results can be obtained by clicking on the On-farm Research link on the OSU Extension Agronomics Crops team website at http://agcrops.osu.edu/.

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