A summary of research results obtained from the first four years (2004-2007) of the La Broquerie Research Project is presented below. More detailed information about each topic can be found by following the links or using the left navigation bar.
It is important to note that research results regarding nutrient and pathogen movement are applicable to the coarse-textured (sandy) soil in which the trial was conducted. Similar investigations of persistence in soil and movement to groundwater of nutrients and pathogens are required for finer textured soils (e.g. loam or clay soils) in Manitoba.
Forage and Cattle Productivity
- applying hog manure to forage land resulted in a three-fold increase in forage yield and animal productivity
- forage quality increased with manure application, with a 30% increase in crude protein
- Nutrient Dynamics in Soil and Water
- phosphorus concentrations are increasing near the soil surface (in the root zone) due to a surplus of P application compared to P removal by the forages
- chloride (used as a tracer) was found to be moving down the soil profile
- P and N do not appear to be moving into the groundwater
- nutrient buildup is evident around mineral feeders and waterers where animals congregate and forage yield is low
- Pathogens in Soil and Water
- Salmonella and E. coli were present in hog manure but were not transferred to grazing cattle
- pathogen numbers were low in all soil and plant samples
- micro-organisms, including antibiotic resistant organisms are present in groundwater but the source is not known
- the viability of these microorganisms under natural conditions is also unknown
- Greenhouse Gases
- greenhouse gas emissions from land where manure was applied were higher than where manure was not applied
- the increase in root growth in manured plots more than offset increased emissions; however, the stability of the carbon captured in root growth is not known
- Energy Use and Efficiency
- beef production on manured land is less energy efficient than on unmanured land
- however, beef production on manured land is more efficient than beef production on land where synthetic fertilizers are applied
- the value of increased forage yield due to manure application is $84-92/acre
- the value of increased live weight gain in livestock due to manure application is $175-191/acre
- Conclusions and Best Management Practices
- conclusions and best management practices have been developed based on the results of the first three years of the La Broquerie Research Project.
- the entire report to the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative (MLMMI) can be viewed on the project webpage on the MLMMI website.
This page posted August 2007.
Last updated June 2008.