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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta October 15, 1974 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD 9 Research report: The dollar dirty By DR. THERON SOMMERFELDT Agronomist To the feedlot operatorA manure is generally a nuisance but, to the farmer, it is a fertilizer and soil im- prover. The composition of manure vanes greatly; depending on the bedding and feed given the animals. But, as a rough rule of thumb, one ton of cattle manure contains 10 pounds of nitrogen, five pounds of phosphoric acid, and 10 pounds of potash. It is often said that manure is worthless and that one cannot afford to haul it and spread it on the'land. Is this true' During the 1930s, the value of manure was studied at the Letnbridge Research Stationr Manure was applied to an irrigated rotation at and 30-tons.per acre and the response of the crops was measured. Yields were increased for .the next eight years. The greatest increase 'occurred the year after application. Because manure is relatively low in phosphorus, 45 pounds of this nutrient per acre, added with the manure, doubted the yield increase. The increased value of the crops for the eight years after a 30 ton per acre application of manure was When phosphate was added, the increase in value was In 1946, the value of manure was estimated to exceed per ton. Studies from 1960 to 1971 showed that manure was worth a ton. With the soaring coat of fertilizers and crop returns, the value of manure would be even greater today. The response of plants to manure is not from the nutrient boost alone. Manure also improves the soil struc- ture and this enhances soil aeration and moisture move- ment and often stimulates microbiological activity. All these effects lead to healthier plants. Plant response in the rotation to 15 tons of manure per acre was almost as great as it was to 30 tons per acre. Therefore, if the supply of manure is limitel, lower rates should be applied over more land rather than heavier rates over less land. If the manure is readily available, however, higher rates of manure can' be used. 30 to 35 tons per acre, has been applied to irrigated land at Lethbridge every year for the past 40 years. There has been no evidence that the soil or groundwater has been polluted or that the crop yields have been adversely affected. We are now trying to deter- mine the upper limit for manure application. WHY FEED ANGUS? It's ALL In... Tlu' Lcthbridfje Herald Local News National News Editorials News Area News Sports Letters of the Editor Political News Provincial News Women's News Human Interest Stories Advertising i SOUTHERN ALBERTA ABERDEEN ANGUS CLUB "The LpUbMH ItaiM Smiq lid Thi Spill" Start Your Subscription Now! Clip and Mail this Handy Coupon Today! Prtist Start My SriscriptiM UN Name Address 6 Months____- 12 Months ROM for Mafl Subscribers In alberta I am enclosing Order In the amount of................... Mail Coupon to P.O. Bex 670, ;