Washington State University

Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management

Manure as a Resource

Using Manure as a Nutrient Source in Crop and Garden Production. The separation of animal agriculture from crop production has led to accumulation of excess manure on livestock farms. Crop farms can benefit from this manure as a source of nutrients and organic matter, if the manure is suitable for their needs and shipping does not make the cost prohibitive. We are assessing the nutrient value of different sources of manure and their suitability for crop production. Our publication, "Fertilizing with Manure" is a guide for crop farmers for evaluating manure sources, testing manure, and applying manure.

Horse manure and soil nitrogen.  Horse manure is an abundant, locally available source of organic matter for soils.  A major concern about horse manure is that it can cause a nitrogen deficiency when added to soils, leading to stunted, yellowed crops.  In a study of 36 farms and stables in King County we measured nitrogen levels in horse manure

Managing Dairy Manure to Protect Water Quality. Water quality problems, changing herd management patterns, and increased regulation have made manure management a critical issue for dairy farmers. Our immediate goal is to help dairy farmers improve the use of manure to increase agronomic benefits and reduce the risk of over-application, runoff, and leaching. Our long-term goal is to help farmers identify chronic nutrient imbalances, and develop ways to reduce nutrient imports or increase exports. We have done research on 1) rate and timing of dairy slurry applications to forage grass, 2) pre-sidedress nitrate testing for corn, 3) whole-farm flows on dairies. Manure application rates have traditionally been based on nitrogen, but phosphorus has emerged as the nutrient of concern in many watersheds.

Manure pile



Fertilizing with manure. (online pdf) Bary, A., C. Cogger, and D.M. Sullivan. 2000. Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Oregon State University Cooperative Extension System, US Department of Agriculture. PNW0533.

Supercow: A liquid manure applicator for small plot research. (publication plus additional images) Bary, A.I., D.M. Sullivan, S.C. Fransen, and C.G. Cogger. 2001. Agronomy J. 93:1344-1345.

Manure on you farm: asset or liability. (online pdf) Cogger, C.G. 2004. LPES Small Farms Fact Sheet.

Whole-farm nutrient flow and manure management. (online pdf) Cogger, C.G., T.N. Cramer, A.I. Bary, and D.C. Grusenmeyer. 1998.p. 581-586. In Animal Production Systems and the Environment. Des Moines, IA, 19-22 July, 1998.

Estimating plant-available nitrogen release from manures, composts, and specialty products. (email for pdf e-copy) Gale, E.S., D.M. Sullivan, C.G. Cogger, A.I. Bary, D.D. Hemphill, and E.A. Myhre. 2006. J. Environ. Qual. 35:2321-2332.

The pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT). (online pdf) Marx, E.S., N.W. Christensen, J. Hart, M. Gangwer, C.G. Cogger, and A.I. Bary. 1996. Bulletin EM 8650. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Post harvest soil nitrate testing for manured cropping systems west of the Cascades. (online pdf) Sullivan, D.M. and C.G. Cogger. 2003.EM8832-E. Oregon State University Extension Service

The field book for dairy manure applications. (preview sample online (pdf), or order hardcopy $5.50) Sullivan, D.M., C.G. Cogger, and A.I. Bary. 1997. Date, rate, and place: PNW 506. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Which test is best? Customizing dairy manure nutrient testing. (online pdf) Sullivan, D.M., C.G. Cogger, and A.I. Bary. 1997. PNW 505. Oregon State University Extension Service.

Timing of dairy manure applications to perennial grass on well-drained and poorly-drained soils. (email for pdf e-copy) Sullivan, D.M., C.G. Cogger, A.I. Bary, and S.C. Fransen. 2000. J. Soil & Water Conservation. J. Soil and Water Conservation 55:147-152.

Biosolids and dairy manure as nitrogen sources for prairiegrass on a poorly drained soil. (email for pdf e-copy) Sullivan, D.M., S.C. Fransen, C.G. Cogger, and A.I. Bary. 1997. J. Prod. Agric. 10:589-596.

Secondary content using h2 tag.

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