Project: MLMMI 98-01-08
To demonstrate the use of several liquid manure application methods suitable for use on grassland. Monitoring of the odour produced by each application method and yield response of the forage crops to each method will also be important segments of this project.
MB Forage Council
Contact: Don Petkau
Funding Partners: who have contributed to MLMMI in support of this project:
ARDI - $17,873
PFRA - $6,000
Manitoba Pork Council and industry groups - $20,127
Amount Funded: $44,000.00
Performer Funded: $16,000.00
Total Cost: $60,000.00
Final Report due November 23, 1999; received December 24/99.
The project involved applying manure to two separate forage sites using four types of equipment – a Greentrac injector, a Greentrac sleighfoot, an Aerway aerator and a dribble bar – to establish the benefits of using alternate field equipment in manure application. Results showed major differences in crop yield responses and soil disturbance levels but little difference in odour release. Each of these applications proved suitable options for Manitoba farmers and the negative effects of soil and root disturbance were offset by the positive effects of the nutrients in the manure.
Soil disturbance levels varied greatly between the various machines but this seemed to have only short-term effects on the crops. The aerator had the highest soil disturbance level but had no ill effects on the grass. Soil disturbance; by the injector was minor and was easily balanced by the positive effects of manure application on the crop.
Although the dribble bar produced the greatest nutrient losses due to ammonia volatilization, these were still less than those experienced with traditional manure application methods. The dribble bar was also most effective in terms of power requirements although the other three methods were more environmentally-friendly with respect to losses, they used much more power in application. All methods were deemed effective alternatives for applying manure to forages.
No significant difference in odour levels during or after application were noted since each piece of equipment tested distributes manure near ground level which reduces odour potential.
All tests showed yield increases with the application of manure, despite some levels of crop damage noted following Greenway injector and sleighfoot applications.