Corn Sidedressed With Hog Manure Performs Well

Unpredictable spring weather can bring application problems for hog farmers. Researchers are looking for additional ways to manage manure resources. ( Melissa Miller, Penn State University )

Analyzing harvest data, hog manure can be a viable sidedressing option for farmers in tough application situations, according to Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota Extension specialist.

Using a dragline hose system to apply hog manure presented challenges in Wilson's 2018 research study, but did offer comparable yields to traditional fertilizers. She offers these harvest data updates, to her first impressions, which you can find here: “Hog Manure Might Be Corn’s Next Sidedressing Option.”

Corn harvested in mid-October, showed similar yields of about 206 bu. per acre for each sidedress treatment, including manure application treatment and 140 bu. per acre for no-sidedressed-nitrogen control pots.

A Look Back At the 2018 Study

Planted in May 2018, the corn received 40 lb. of nitrogen applied with the planter. Sidedressing occurred in early June in large strips (about 24 rows) when corn was at the V4 growth stage.

For all nitrogen source treatments, the Minnesota research team applied a nitrogen rate of 140 lb. per acre. Control strips did not receive additional nitrogen.

The first two nitrogen sources included anhydrous ammonia and liquid urea-ammonium nitrate. The third source, finishing swine manure, was applied at around 3,500 gal. per acre with a draghose system and a 12-row applicator.

When researchers at the University of Minnesota began looking at ways to utilize hog manure as fertilizer, sidedressing wasn’t one of the easiest options, but weather factors make timing manure applications tricky for many producers.

This past fall and spring are prime examples. Minnesota was really wet in the southern part of the state this fall, preventing many farmers from applying manure. Additional precipitation this winter and cold temperatures hasn’t made early spring an easy option either. Finding ways to manage manure applications during these conditions hold valuable information for livestock and crop farmers.

 Additional information will be completed this year. Wilson plans to repeat the study this year on another field, as well return to the 2018 field, which is now in soybeans, to see if there is lingering effects from the nitrogen sources on the next crop.

Related Articles:

Hog Manure Might Be Corn’s Next Sidedressing Option

Tips to Applying Manure in Unfavorable Conditions

Carefully Approach Spring Manure Applications