By-products and recycled materials may improve economic returns for many farms. During the 2017 Waste to Worth Conference, recycled wallboard was promoted as an excellent source for dairy barn bedding. Being non-organic, ground drywall is very absorptive and less likely to support bacterial growth. Therefore, cow udder health is greatly improved with recycled gypsum bedding as a low cost alternative to sand and sawdust. Continue reading
Farmers and ranchers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soil quality/health to the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural system. Research and field observations have demonstrated that carefully managed manure applications can contribute to improved soil quality with limited environmental and social risks. However, a comprehensive assemblage of outputs and conclusions from research studies, field trials, soil labs databases, and other sources has never been developed. Continue reading
In 1987, a long-term cropping systems study started at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center. Three sets of 4-year crop rotations are replicated three times each year. The ninth cycle ended in 2016. This article will discuss some of the effects of using composted beef manure on soil properties and selected crop yields. Continue reading
Manure and Soil Health: What is the State of the Science? Can manure be both an economic ‘Win’ and an environmental ‘Win’? What fields provide the best opportunity for Win/Win? What exactly are the environmental and soil health wins associated with manure? Can we test soils so that we better understand the value of manure nutrients and carbon? What are the biological processes in a soil system that benefit from organic fertilizers? These and other questions are the topics a new working group addressing Manure and Soil Health (MaSH) plan to address.