It may be a little early to start talking about testing manure, but as we get closer to fall, testing manure should be on your mind. Especially this year, it will be a good idea to take manure samples prior to application to see your full manure analysis. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues with getting animals to packing plants, this will directly impact the makeup of your manure. Today, we are handling hogs and implementing procedures that we have never done before, so the outcome of that manure will be uncertain.
As I am writing this article, diets are changing regularly, hogs are getting bigger than normal, barns are being double-stocked, barn temperatures are being adjusted, and pigs in general are just being fed for a longer period of time before they can be brought to market. All of these factors will affect manure analysis and gallons produced. As for cattle, we are changing those diets too. We are feeding more roughage and less by-products, which will change analysis of dry manure and increase the tons of manure an animal produces.
Testing manure prior to application tells you what type of nutrients are available to the crop and takes the guess work out of trying to figure out application rates.
As we get closer to the fall, be sure to plan for manure testing. It is always a good idea to test manure so you know the nutrients of your manure, whether it be liquid or dry, so that you can take full advantage of the nutrients available. If you have any questions regarding manure testing or would like your pit or stockpile tested, please feel free to contact me.