Sidedressing manure offers benefits

Manure application technology and research findings were on display the Western Ohio Manure Application Technology Field Day held in Mercer County in late July.

Topics at the meeting included nutrient management from national, state, and local perspectives; Senate Bill 150 — On-farm impacts; Utilizing manure nutrients to improve nitrogen management; Cover crop selection to conserve nitrogen for the following year; and biosecurity for manure applicators.

An afternoon field day featured demonstrations of toolbars to incorporate manure including Yetter, Dietrich, Aerway, Bazooka and KIFCO equipment. Harrod Farms had their VIT unit on display as well. This toolbar was used to sidedress (incorporate) swine manure into almost 100 acres of corn at the V1 stage this spring using a drag hose. The 2014 research builds on a several years of studies of manure

There was quite a bit of interest in side dressing manure at the field day.
There was quite a bit of interest in side dressing manure at the field day.

application.

“We started with dairy and swine manure on small plots and swine manure on wheat. We were very pleased with how that worked,” said Glen Arnold, OSU Extension manure management field specialist. “Then we tried sidedressing corn because it uses much more nitrogen. You have to haul that manure at some point. Every gallon we can put on a growing crop in the early spring and summer is one that we don’t have to put on in the fall. If we get it on the growing crop we have a better chance of catching the nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and other nutrients that are there. We are also working to convert to drag hose technology for application.”

In response to the success demonstrated in the research, several farmers in Ohio have started sidedressing corn with livestock manure using a manure tanker and incorporation toolbar. Manure tankers can be adapted for corn rows by using narrow wheels and wheel spacers. At the field day corn was sidedressed using a tanker and Dietrich toolbar.

Sidedressing manure also opens up new windows for commercial manure application.

“That is a down time for commercial applicators. They currently do not have that window available to apply manure from May 1 to early July,” Arnold said. “We all know we are going to spend $100 or $125 per acre on sidedressing corn. We are learning that we could go out there with 6,000 gallons of swine manure and accomplish the same thing.”

This field day was organized by the Mercer County Extension office, the Grand Lake St Mary/Walbash River Watershed Alliance, and the Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation office. Certified Crop Advisor Credits and Certified Livestock Manager credits will be available.

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