The composition of animal manure varies enormously per farm. Therefore, the average composition of manure is an unreliable guide for fertilising decisions.
How much nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K) does a cubic metre of manure contain? Does animal manure contain sufficient organic matter to keep the level in the soil constant? These are questions that can only be answered through proper manure analysis. If average composition is used instead, the nutrient supply is likely to be incorrectly estimated.
Differences between manure units are due to:
- differences in rations for the animals
- the quantity of rinse water
- the mineral composition of animal feed
- the composition of livestock
The results of manure analyses provides the basis for a proper fertilising strategy. The increased focus on soil fertility also results from the fact that a growing number of agricultural entrepreneurs want to know what the composition of manure is. Soil fertility is increasingly seen as the key to yield improvement. It is important to know precisely what manure does in the soil. The organic matter and phosphate in manure enhance long-run soil fertility.
Knowledge of the fertilising value of manure is a tool to control costs, yield and quality.
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