Benefits of Livestock Manure

Posted date: Mar 8, 2022

by: Admin My Local Life
Written by Fred Wedel, Retired NRCS District Conservationist

Livestock manure has many benefits when used to supply nutrients for crop production. Livestock manure is a source of many key nutrients needed by crop plants. The nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, and micro-nutrients. Manure added to crop soil impacts the chemical, biological, and physical aspects of soil quality. Livestock manure is useful to replenish nutrients removed from soil by harvesting a crop.

When applying livestock manure or commercial fertilizer, using a nutrient management plan is very important. NRCS will develop a nutrient management plan for crop production for you on your farm. First a soil sample must be taken to determine which crop nutrients are currently available in the soil and in what amounts. The soil test used must not be over two years old. The soil test results must follow Land Grant University (LGU) guidance. The nutrient management plan will give recommendations for the amount of fertilizer or livestock manure to be applied for the crop to be grown. The plan will include the "4R's" of nutrient management. They are:
• Right nutrient source
• Applied at the right rate
• Applied at the correct time of year for the crop grown
• Applied in the correct place to improve use efficiency and to reduce losses due to surface runoff or leaching into groundwater
By following the "4R's", over-application and run-off is avoided, and water quality is protected. Remember this, do not apply nutrients when there is risk of runoff. Runoff can happen when soils are frozen, snow-covered or the top 2-3 inches of soil is saturated.

Following is a list of benefits of using livestock manure as fertilizer:
• Improves soil physical properties and soil aggregate formation
• Improves soil organic matter levels
• Improved aggregate stability and soil structure
• More soil biological activity
• More available moisture and water use efficiency
• Better rooting depth and better nutrient use efficiency
• Reduced tillage and a diverse crop rotation including cover crops keeps live roots in the soil throughout the year

Setting a realistic yield goal is important when applying livestock manure. Consider the nutrient needs of the crop rotation rather than just individual crops. This is especially important for P and K management. Livestock manure will increase soil organic matter. The result is reduced soil bulk density and less soil compaction. Soil biology is improved because of all the live organisms like plant roots, earthworms, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and small insects. They all are important to build soil health, improve nutrient cycling and improve soil particle aggregation. Application of manure will also reduce soil erosion because of improved soil structure and less water run-off because of improved water infiltration rates. When putting manure on cropland it is best to not apply onto frozen, snow covered soils.

Strategic management of animal manure can be a cost-effective way to increase soil organic matter content, stimulate soil biology, improve soil structure and ultimately improve crop yields.

Your local NRCS office has experienced planners to assist you with development of a manure management plan for your farm.
Other Articles You Might Be Interested In
Winter Farmer's Market
On Saturday the 5th of March, from 10am til 1pm, there will be a Winter Farmer's Market at 108 W Washington St in Saint Francis.

The Farmer's Market Board has been working to round up vendors who want to participate and give you the opportunity to come and get those products and food you normally only see during the summer time. There will be ready-to-eat foods, take-and-bake food, metal crafts, hand made crafts, packaged meats, salves and oils, and I have heard there will even be fre
Playa Wetland
What is a playa? Playas are small, shallow, intermittent wetlands that are disconnected from rivers, streams and lakes. They only fill with water as a result of rain, snow or runoff from nearby land. Playas can remain filled with water from a month to all season long. Kansas has nearly 22,000 playas. They are in the western half of the state. Playas are also called mud holes, buffalo wallows or lagoons.

Wetland playas have the general characteristics: soggy soils, water-loving plants,
Highway 36 Bloggers will visit Cheyenne County
The Highway 36 Association has been working with local Chambers of Commerce, Main Streets, and Economic Development offices in the thirteen Kansas counties that Highway 36 runs through to bring two travel bloggers to our region this month. These bloggers, Sara Broers with Travel with Sara, and Melody Pittman with Wherever I May Roam Blog, will be road tripping along Highway 36 to highlight what visitors can experience in all 13 counties along Highway 36. They arrive in Doniphan County on Sunday,
Amendments to the Kansas amusement ride act which could affect carnival rides at the fair.
House Bill 2389 is scheduled to be heard, I think on Thursday and Friday in Topeka. This may or may not affect the carnival rides at the fair, but looks like it may. I would suggest people contact Representative Adam Smith and maybe e-mail any concerns, so this doesn't have a negative affect on the community.

Here is a link to the information page on the Kansas Legislature site:

March 23, 2017

The Honorable John Barker, Chai
Our 'In Town Chicken Project', so far
Last year, the City of St. Francis approved the raising of chickens within town limits as long as certain criteria is adhered to.

The coop must be approved by the city before it is populated with chickens.
No more than 6 chickens.
No roosters, only females are allowed.

So I knew, that at some point, we would have chickens, to have fresh eggs, and I have an eight year old who loves critters. The day would come when chickens would inhabit the yard, but in truth, I was putting it off, sinc
Future Leadership Training Classes in Cheyenne County
There is a group of leaders in Cheyenne, Rawlins, Sherman and Thomas Counties that held discussions with K State Extension, Hansen Foundation and the Kansas Leadership Center regarding support for establishing sustainable leadership programs in these four counties. The first Community Builders class was held in Cheyenne County in 2007 and the last of four classes was held nine years ago in 2012. Close to 80 county residents participated in these classes. The original eight trainers have eithe
Rangeland Fencing
Written By Fred Wedel, retired NRCS District Conservationist
Photos By Cale Rieger, NRCS Natural Resource Specialist

Proper fence is needed for grazing livestock in a rotational grazing system. As mentioned before, a rest-rotation grazing system is essential for properly managing grazing systems in the western Kansas area of short grass and mid-grass prairie.

Many perimeter fences are 3 or 4 strands of barbed wire. Interior cross-fences are usually a single smooth wire. The interior fe
Classic Rose and The Rustic Garden, ribbon cutting ceremony
The Classic Rose and The Rustic Garden had it's official ribbon cutting ceremony this morning to celebrate a new owner and renovation. The members of the Cheyenne County Development Corp. were on hand to perform the ribbon cutting and highlight the addition of an important, new business in our community. Plus, they brought cake :)

Jan Fortin has created a wonderful new environment within the Classic Rose; taking down partitions, giving the entire space a face lift, opening up the space fo
Written by Fred Wedel, Retired NRCS District Conservationist

What are cover crops? Cover crops are grown for the protection and enrichment of the soil. In Agriculture, cover crops are used to cover and protect the soil rather than to be harvested.

Cover crops are used to manage cropland and reduce soil erosion, improve soil fertility, improve soil quality, improve water storage, reduce pressure from weeds, pests and diseases, and improve biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem.