Carrington Center to hold nutrient management day

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Farm Forum

Nutrient management will be featured in a daylong program at North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

The nutrient management day event will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“From feedlot to field, several aspects of manure management will be discussed,” says Mary Berg, livestock environmental management specialist at the center.

The program will include a review of two on-going compost demonstrations. One is a side-by-side comparison of compost manure rows turned with a compost turner vs. a bucket-loader. The other demonstration tracks mortality composting.

The center’s cropping systems project, along with other compost/manure crop trials at the center, also will be discussed during the nutrient management day.

The manure from the center’s 700-head feedlot and cow herd is spread on the center’s fields annually. The center’s 28-year cropping systems project uses composted manure as fertilizer in an eight-crop, three-tillage, four-fertility treatment, four-year rotation. The results from the last seven growing seasons show that the net income from composted beef manure is equal to or higher than from commercial fertilizer.

“Wise stewardship of manure nutrients can be done by applying the right amount of nutrients (rate) at the right time in the right place,” says Paulo Flores, nutrient management specialist at the center.

Here are recommendations for using manure as fertilizer:

• Know the nutrient content in the manure. Get samples analyzed in specialized labs.

• Know the nutrient recommendations for crops.

“The two points above will not matter if you cannot apply the right rate of manure in the field,” Berg says.

As part of the nutrient management day, Berg and her team will talk about manure-sampling techniques and the importance of knowing the nutrient content of manure before using it as fertilizer. Because manure largely is used for corn production in North Dakota, the team also will discuss a manure calculator for corn that determines the balance of nutrients and application cost when using manure and/or commercial fertilizer.

In addition, they’ll demonstrate a simple manure spreader calibration using the Foster County Soil Conservation spreader.

Continuing education credits for certified crop advisers have been requested for this program in nutrient management, crop management, and soil and water manure management.

Because most of the day’s events will take place outdoors, attendees should wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for seasonal weather.

Preregistration is requested. The registration fee is $15, which will cover materials and lunch. Register online at http://tinyurl.com/CRECstore.

The center is 3 1/2 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281.

For more information, contact Berg at (701) 652-2951 or mary.berg@ndsu.edu.