Nutrient Management Planning

Nutrient loss from agriculture, as well as from natural ecosystems, is inevitable. A continuous challenge is to enhance nutrient use by crops and livestock and minimize nutrient loss through good management. Animal nutrition, field, whole-farm, and landscape models have been developed to improve nutrient management on crop livestock farms. While of great use in predicting biophysical outcomes (e.g., feed nutrient use by livestock and excretion in manure, fertilizer and manure nutrient

Organic Nitrogen

Organic N % Available

from present

application

Solid

25

Stored liquid

35

Composted

20

Organic N from

1 year ago

12

2 years ago

5

3 years ago

2

Table 2 Qualitative comparisons of major N loss pathways for manure application under various management regimes and environmental conditions

Manure management Nitrogen loss processes

Soil

Rate Time Placement drainage Ammonia Denitrification Leaching

Placement comparisons

Med. Spring

Surface

Well

High

Low

Med.

Med. Spring

Incorporated

Well

Low

Med.

Med.

Med. Spring

Injected

Well

Low

Med.

Med.

Soil drainage comparisons

Med. Spring

Incorporated

Excess

Low

Low

High

Med. Spring

Incorporated

Poor

Low

High

Med.

Application rate comparisons

Low Spring

Incorporated

Poor

Low

Low

Low

Med. Spring

Incorporated

Poor

Low

Med.

Med.

High Spring

Incorporated

Poor

Low

Med.

High

Time of year comparison

Med. Fall

Surface

Well

High

Low

High

Med. Winter

Surface

Well

Med.

Low

High

Med. Spring

Surface

Well

High

Low

Med.

Med. Summer

Surface

Well

High

Med.

Med.

(From Ref. 8.)

use by crops, soil nutrient buildup and loss), most models do not address social and economic factors that influence farmers' ability and willingness to adopt alternative practices. A manure management plan must be practical to be effective. A slightly imperfect, less comprehensive, but practical plan will almost always provide more desired results than a more complicated one that is not practical to implement.[9]

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