Source: Ohio State University Extension

Many growers were unable to apply their normal amounts of manure last fall due to wet weather and a delayed harvest season. As a result, many growers need to haul manure this spring before the planting season.

The ammonium nitrogen (N) and a portion of the organic N contained in spring applied manure are generally available for the growing crop. According to OSU Extension bulletin 604, 50-75% of the ammonia portion of the N could be captured if the manure is injected during application or incorporated within one day if surface-applied. Approximately a third of the organic portion of the manure N will be available regardless of whether the manure is incorporated or not.

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients.

Pre-emergent applications of 28% UAN, swine manure or dairy manure were made within 5 days of corn planting. Post-emergent applications of 28% UAN, swine manure and dairy manure were made at the V3 stage of corn growth. All manure applications were made with a 5,200-gallon tanker and Dietrich tool bar with the incorporated manure placed at a 5-inch depth. Surface manure was applied by using the Dietrich toolbar held just above ground level.

2011-14 Manure on Corn Research Plots
Table 1. 2011-14 Manure on Corn Research Plots at OARDC Northwest Branch

Corn sidedress plots involving the use of a drag hose to apply the manure were conducted in 2014 and will be again in 2015. A drag hose reduces concerns about soil compaction associated with applying manure to growing crops while greatly improving the efficiency of the application process.