Apply manure responsibly when soil conditions are dry

By Liz Ripley–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Learn how to effectively apply manure in dry weather.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, hosted a free virtual field day focused on best management practices for applying manure in dry soil conditions Thursday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.

Brian Dougherty, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agricultural engineer, hosted the live conversation.

Maximizing the nutrient availability and retention of applied manure for the upcoming crops begins with proper handling and application to the land. During dry conditions, it is even more important as those nutrients are especially vulnerable to being flushed from the system during future rain events.

Dougherty led a study at Iowa State University’s Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua to examine the effect of manure application timing and cover crops on yields and drainage water quality. During the virtual event, Dougherty will share results from that project and similar projects, as well as provide best management practices for applying manure for the upcoming crop year.

“This field day will give producers some tips on planning ahead for fall manure applications,” said Dougherty. “We will discuss some challenges specific to applying manure in very dry conditions as well as the benefits of using manure and cover crops together as an integrated system for improving utilization of manure nutrients.”

The field day was recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time.