Quantify nutrient source: soil reserve, manure, crop residue.
Soil test: pH, lime requirement, phosphorous, potassium (calcium and magnesium optional).
Manure analysis: nitrogen (ammonium N, total N), phosphorus, potassium.
Calibration manure and fertilizer spreaders: tons, 1000's gallons, lbs. per acre.
- Manure application rate, supplemental fertilizer.
- Utilize excess manure on alternative crops (hay crops).
- Avoid applying large amounts of manure on fields with excessive P soil tests
- Do not over apply nitrogen from manure or fertilizer.
Nitrogen soil test: side- or top-dressing supplemental nitrogen fertilizer.
- to reduce soil loss and nitrate leaching; optimal cover when planted by September 15, little value after September 30.
- consider a legume based cover crop on vegetable farms and on distant fields on dairy farms where manure is not spread.
Planting plan: to ensure early harvest of corn to allow early cover crop planting on most erosion prone fields.
Minimum tillage: to reduce nutrient loss through soil erosion.
Stephen J. Herbert
Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Crops, Dairy, Livestock News. Vol. 3:2, Winter 1998-99
Last updated: 3/15/05.