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Manure

See what farms are using for nutrient management, from anaerobic digesters and storage to field application and emissions.

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While most cowgirls spend their time on horseback working cattle and helping out around the ranch, this is not where you will likely find Jennifer Cummins.

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Not many years ago, there were only two people allowed to enter a newly planted Midwest cornfield: One was the person applying the side-dress nitrogen, and the other was the person applying the weed control.

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Bettencourt Dairy has been operating in Jerome and Wendell counties of Idaho since 1982. The farm owns 19 barns housing 50,000 milking cattle in the Magic Valley. At 18 gallons of manure per cow per day, the dairy has great responsibility in handling manure from its cattle.

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The components of manure reflect the components of the cow’s internal and external environment, including a variety of potential disease-causing microorganisms. Proper manure management and attention to detail as part of a whole-farm approach to pathogen control can help limit your herd’s exposure to these harmful pathogens.

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With a wide variety of manure management and nutrient recovery technologies available to dairy producers today, it can be difficult to know which one would be the best investment.

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Balancing manure and fertilizer applications, crop production and environmental conservation is an ongoing challenge. Having the knowledge and understanding of several foundational principles of nutrient management can aid in making better farming decisions.

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