Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure application research on growing crops for several years to make better use of the available nutrients. Incorporating manure into growing corn can boost crop yields, reduce nutrient losses and give livestock producers or commercial manure applicators another window of time to apply manure to farm fields.
OSU research started with using manure tankers modified with narrow wheels, and in recent years progressed to using drag hoses on emerged corn. Researchers now feel confident that liquid livestock manure can be surface-applied or incorporated into corn from the day of planting to the V4 stage of development.
In Darke County, Ohio, the team used a drag hose to apply swine finishing manure to emerged corn fields with several farmers during the 2014-19 growing seasons with great success, it reports. The corn was generally at the V3 stage of growth when the manure was incorporated as a sidedress, but in some years, weather forced application at the V4 stage.
The manure treatments have averaged 17.4 bushels per acre more than the 28% UAN treatments. These livestock producers incorporated approximately 6,500 gallons of swine finishing manure per acre to provide all the sidedress nitrogen needed. Most of the fields received 10 gallons per acre of 28% UAN as row starter. Also, most farmers planted their cornfields at an angle to make the drag hose work best for the commercial manure applicator.
Nitrogen plus phosphorus, potash
In addition to providing the sidedress nitrogen, the manure application also provided almost precisely the amount of phosphorus and potash needed for both the current corn crop and the soybean crop the following season, researchers report.
Additional on-farm manure sidedress plot results can be obtained by clicking on the “On-farm Research” link on the OSU Extension Agronomics Crops team website, agcrops.osu.edu or follow OSU Extension’s manure research on Facebook at Ohio State Extension Environmental and Manure Management. You can also visit OSU Extension's Nutrient Stewardship YouTube website.