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Dig for profits with Manure Injector Systems

June 21, 2011
 The value of manure
With the escalation of commercial fertilizer prices, farmers are rediscovering liquid manure as a valuable, cost-saving commodity that enhances fertilization of  crops and boosts yields.
            The method used to apply liquid manure in the fields is also evolving, with interest in manure injection or incorporation steadily growing in many regions of North America. Traditionally, liquid manure or slurry has been applied on top of the soil with various types of surface applicators. While this approach has worked to some extent, research shows that large amounts of nutrients, including 30-70% of nitrogen (N), can be lost.
            Surface application, with no injection or incorporation, creates potential for surface water pollution from nitrogen or phosphorus. State governments have become more aggressive in regulating how manure is being applied, and some are requiring farmers to have formal manure management plans.
            Losing nitrogen to the atmosphere is like losing money, says the Prairie Agriculture Machinery Industry. A 1 million gallon manure storage with an average nitrogen content of .02 pounds per gallon contains about $6,000.00 worth of nitrogen. Losing 30% of nitrogen through more inefficient methods, like sprinkler irrigation, means an $1,800.00 loss.
            Mike Zoske, owner of Zoske’s Sales & Service in Iowa Falls, Iowa, says the potential for savings through manure injection isn’t hard to sell to costumers. Zoske’s business manufactures the Winske TSS 404 no-till manure injector toolbar and markets them through Jamesway’s Nutri-Jector system.
            “It’s not hard for a farmer to save $20,000.00 -$70,000.00 in fertilizer costs in a year by injecting manure” says Zoske. Odor complaints from new residents populating rural areas have also forced farmers to look at manure injection. An Ohio State University study from 2007 says injection can eliminate as much as 90% of the odour and ammonia emissions associated with manure application.
            Custom applicators used to dominate the manure injection field, but more and more farmers are doing it on their own to control the timing and, in some cases, the quality of the application. There is a huge benefit with injection, especially with dry climates where you can add nutrients and moisture to the soil.
Technology is advancing
            On the plus side, technology has potential to improve manure injection results. Soil testing, GPS and variable-rate technology is helping some farmers apply slurry more efficiently. Manufacturers are also trying to resolve issues like tough soil or trash. Jamesway’s new Level-Lift mounting system--part of its Nutri-Jector High-Speed Injector System—addresses problems with a toolbar not remaining parallel to the ground as they raise or lower, which could change the injector shank angle.
            Jamesway, based in St. Francois-Xavier, Canada, says the Level-Lift system maintains the proper angle at any height so operators can simply set the necessary depth.
Article: John Dobberstein, Associated Editor, Farm Equipment
Editing: Catherine Ruscigno



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