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How effective is spring manure application?

In some ways spring is the best time to apply manure, but in other ways it’s not.

Crops get the best use of nutrients when applied in the spring, but with seeding being a priority there’s often not a lot of time, says Petra Loro, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development’s livestock environment specialist.

But if farmers are running low on manure storage space it’s an option after April 10. The province restricts earlier applications due to spring melt run-off.

“You are dealing with potential road restrictions in the spring,” Loro said in an interview Oct. 30. “You’re dealing with moisture levels if you can access fields. If we have a late spring you’re dealing with seeding dates and the challenges there.”

Manure can also be applied to forage and some crops during the growing season with the right equipment, she said.

“People can go in after first cut,” Loro said. “With corn it’s an equipment issue. You can drive on it before a certain stage and it will bounce back. I imagine industry will seek all of those opportunities to do in season as well as pre-seeding.”

About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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