Manure sharing study 1991 - 1992

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Steele, Margaret A.

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Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Abstract

One hundred and thirty farmers in Lambton county were surveyed about their attitudes and practices towards manure sharing as well as their storage and spreading practices. This study was carried out to determine if manure sharing between farmers is a viable option in alleviating water quality problems resulting from overflowing manure tanks, poorly timed spreading and heavy manure spreading rates. The study showed that 38% of farmers had "shared" manure in the past. Sharing generally involved spreading on a neighbour's land when manure storage tanks were full and no land was available on the home fang. However, only 32% of the farmers surveyed were interested in sharing manure in the future. Approximately 28% of the livestock farmers were interested in giving it away, while 40% of the crop farmers were interested in receiving manure. Most livestock farmers felt they had enough land to spread their manure on and wanted its fertilizer value. In fact, some of these farmers wanted more manure. Over half of the crop farmers were resistant to accept manure because of the threat of weed seed dispersal. Most farmers used less than half their workable land to spread manure on. In addition, most farmers did not have a good understanding of their manure spreading rates. Many were spreading heavier than they assumed. The lack of adequate manure storage facilities was the main reason farmers got involved in manure sharing. While sharing can be a viable solution to crisis situations associated with overflowing tanks and inappropriate spreading, farmers should ideally avoid these scenarios by being self-sufficient. This entails ensuring there is sufficient storage and adequate land available when the pits need to be emptied.

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Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Waste Management Reports

Keywords

water quality, manure, manure application, manure storage tank, fertilizer, manure storage facility, crops, drainage, manure sharing

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