Manure can have two shades of green, so to speak. The green of greater farm crop yields. And the green of a healthier environment.
August’s annual Manure Science Review, co-hosted by OARDC, focused on helping farmers get both at the same time. The event featured talks and demonstrations on manure handling, storage and application. Speakers came from OARDC, Ohio State University Extension (OARDC’s outreach partner), the farming community, and state and federal agencies.
“Manure is an excellent product for improving soil quality and increasing crop yields when handled correctly,” said co-organizer Glen Arnold, OSU Extension field specialist in manure nutrient management.
The program emphasized practices and new technologies that can help keep rivers, lakes and streams clean, said David White, executive director of the Ohio Livestock Coalition, an event sponsor.
“Nutrient management and water quality are critical issues,” White said, “and understanding their importance has never been more important.”
“Nutrient management and water quality are critical issues, and understanding their importance has never been more important.”—David White
Keeping phosphorus, algae out of water
- Manure Science Review featured, for example, a prototype poultry litter applicator that slashes phosphorus runoff from poultry litter into water.
- Also featured was a panel discussion by farmers on storing manure. Effective manure storage is key to realizing benefits from manure while preventing risks to water.
- Experts say excessive phosphorus runoff from fertilizer and manure is a cause of the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other water bodies.
- Lake Erie will again have — or, at this writing, may have already had — a significant harmful algal bloom this summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its July 10 annual forecast.
- To contact the sources: Mary Wicks at firstname.lastname@example.org; Glen Arnold at email@example.com.