Here’s how to use it as a fertilizer.
Even a few cows on your farm can produce a good amount of manure. You may be wondering how you can use this material to your advantage; after all, it has to go somewhere. Today we’ll be discussing using your cattle’s manure as fertilizer for your crops. It may sound simple, but there’s more to it than initially meets the eye. Visit our blog for more information on cattle feed.
Cattle’s manure contains all the essential nutrients for a good fertilizer: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This combination is otherwise known as NPK. For feedlot cattle, when the feed is appropriately given to the cattle in the proper amounts, your fertilizer will always have a set ratio of the nutrients NPK. Grass-fed cattle will have a different ratio of NPK in their manure. You can view more nutritional information on specific grasses here.
The difficulty lies in the distribution of the manure on crops and fields. If the fertilizer from the feedlot cows is applied to the crops based on the crops’ nitrogen requirements, there will be an excess of phosphorus. This excess phosphorus has trouble seeping into the soil, leaving a higher level of phosphorus in the top few inches of the soil and much less in the subsoil. If your soil runs off or erodes into a nearby stream, the excess phosphorus will go right along with it, polluting the water source.
What can you do to solve this problem? Many ranchers are feeding their cattle excess phosphorus to ensure each cow in the herd gets their nutritional requirements. One solution is to scale back and only feed the extra phosphorus to the cows who need it.
Another solution is to nourish the crops with the amount of manure they’ll need according to the crops’ phosphorus requirements instead of their nitrogen requirements. This will likely require you to add additional nitrogen supplements to the soil, but could prove an easier solution if you’re unable to change feed.
Remember, altering your feed does alter the taste of your beef. That’s why we choose to produce our grass-fed beef with a great taste and great nutritional value. Get yours on our website today.