On-Farm Manure Demonstration Project

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigator: Jim Anderson, WRC Co-Director and Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota

Additional Staff:
Les Everett, WRC Project Manager, David Wall, MPCA Project Manager, Kevin Blanchet, Project Coordinator and Extension Educator, Jodi DeJong-Hughes, David Pfarr, Bob Koehler, Brad Carlson, Tim Dolan, Mindy Spiehs, Jerry Tesmer, Dan Martens, Charles Schwartau, David Nicolai, and David Bau, Extension Educators, Michael Russelle and Gyles Randall, Soil Scientists


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (EPA 319 grant)

Project Duration: 

October 2004 - June 2008


The goal of this On-Farm Manure Management Demonstrations project is to reduce delivery of pathogens, phosphorus, nitrogen and organic materials from livestock manure to impaired surface waters of Minnesota. This goal will be accomplished through enhanced farmer adoption of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and new technology for field application of manure. Eight on-farm manure and fertilizer rate trials were carried out in 2005 and five in 2006, distributed across southern Minnesota. Manure rate treatments, using liquid swine or dairy manure, were applied in strips in the fall, and fertilizer subplots were added in the spring. Data were collected and were being analyzed in early 2007. In addition, with the addition of Rapid Response funds, eight on-farm trials were prepared in the fall of 2006 for planting in 2007 to measure corn yield response to rates and application methods of Compost Dairy Barn manure. Associated in-barn sampling studies were also carried out in fall of 2006.

Best Management Practices for manure management have been demonstrated and explained at field days:

  1. A very large multi-state Manure Expo (Manure Handling in the 21st Century) was held at the UM Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca on August 11, 2005. It included extensive equipment field demonstrations (as much as possible in an all-day rain), 66 exhibitors, and a full schedule of education events for commercial applicators and livestock producers. Total attendance was estimated to be 700. For photos, a list of exhibitors, and other information see: http://www.manure.umn.edu/fieldday05.
  2. Field days were held in Fillmore County in 2005, and Goodhue and Blue Earth counties in 2006. These included field demonstrations of new solid and liquid manure application equipment and spreader calibration. Presentations were made on economics of manure utilization, using manure in a crop nutrient program, and manure spill emergency response. Attendance was approximately 55 in 2005, and 150 in 2006.
  3. Presentations were made at producer meetings on manure research and management. These included 185 livestock producers in four meetings organized by Extension and the Pork Producers in early 2006, and 75 corn producers in two meetings in August and September.

Based on the review of literature prepared by Professor Sagar Goyal, Mindy Spiehs, Regional Extension Educator in Livestock Systems prepared a draft of an Extension publication on BMPs for management of pathogens in manure, targeted to the livestock producer audience. Following additional development, the publication should be completed in 2007.