Anthony Roth, QLF Greenhouse Manager
If there is one thing that we can count on, it is that everything changes and fertilizer prices are no exception. Commercial Phosphate sources such DAP and MAP prices have doubled from $456/ton and $495/ton to $930/ton and $986/ton since December 2020. With increased fertilizer prices, better managing sources such as hog manure become more prevalent and valuable, and there are more renewed interests in gaining efficiencies with these inputs.
Hog manure varies and therefore testing is important in understanding what nutrients are in the manure and helpful in calculating your fertilizer needs. QLF Agronomy has been exploring applications for our products in treating manure. In the trial shared in this article, the hog manure was analyzed and contained 0.57% Nitrogen with 0.24% being in the organic form and the remaining percent being in the inorganic form (NH4-N). Additionally test results showed 0.28% Phosphorus (P2O5) and 0.51% Potassium (K2O). This means that for every 1,000 gallons of hog manure there should be 68.4 pounds of nitrogen, 23.7 pounds of Phosphate (P2O5) and 43.1 pounds of Potash (K2O). See Table 1 for Total Nutrient Analyses. Inorganic nitrogen forms are easily taken up by plants but can also be more susceptible to loss as well. Organic nitrogen has carbon atoms bonded to it and is less susceptible to loss but requires biological activity in order to be utilized by plants. QLF Agronomy has seen the benefits of combing a highly available carbon source L-CBF BOOST with other nitrogen sources such as Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN 28-32%). QLF trials have demonstrated use efficiency as well as soil health (see nitrate leaching study).
For this specific hog manure trial with incorporating L-CBF BOOST we utilized the laboratory of Next Level Ag. Their soil indicator complete package looks deeper into soil nutrient levels as well as interactions with biological activity. We predict there will be yield advantages with L-CBF BOOST treatments and plan to collect yield data, but for this article yield results have not been compiled yet. For now, we will focus our attention on other measured results. The biology data showed promising results where the BOOST was added to the manure application. Hog manure was knifed in at 3,500 gallons per acre and we compared treatments (1) manure alone, (2) manure with 2.5 gallons of BOOST per acre, and (3) manure with 5 gallons of BOOST per acre. We pulled soil samples 3 inches from the manure knife furrow and took 5 replications from each treatment. The test showed that adding BOOST to the manure application was favorable for the biology in the soil. When 2.5 gallons of BOOST per acre was added there was a 62% increase in biological respiration and a 37% increase when 5 gallons of BOOST per acre was applied over just the manure application (see graph 1). Increase respiration indicates that more biological function is happening in the soil. The Solvita Labile Amino Nitrogen (SLAN) test also showed improvement when adding BOOST to the manure application, the higher the number the more organic nitrogen will be available later in the season (see graph 2). Finally, the overall health score given for the samples was higher in the treatments with BOOST (see graph 3).
One thing I have witnessed time and time again is that our Liquid-Carbon Based Fertilizers work well with other nutrient sources to help with efficiencies and biological activity. I’m excited to get the yield data back and see how the crop finished and finalize the study. QLF Agronomy looks forward to where this study might take our product development for more specific applications, supporting NEW markets and NEW research.