How Nutritional Profiling of Farmyard Manure Can Help Budding Farmers Maximize Profits

Posted on: 15 August 2017

Fundamental agriculture dictates that crops should get an adequate and steady supply of nutrients to reach maturity while remaining healthy. Even though considered as a waste product, farmyard manure offers the best nutrients for different types of crops all year round. Organic fertilizer adds nutrients to the soil, which leads to improved soil fertility. However, farmyard manure varies in nutrient levels based on the source and composition. Therefore, young farmers should sample farm manures to test the nutrient content and level in what is often referred to as nutritional profiling. Here is what beginners should know about nutrient profiling.

Nutritional Content -- Different farmyard manures have different nutritional content that influences the health of crops. Most avid farmers know the average nutrient content of farmyard manure from various livestock. However, the levels of nutrients differ significantly from farm to farm because of farm-specific contributing factors such as drainage and slope. Further, the nutrient profile of livestock manure varies from poultry manure. The variation stems from factors such as diet, health, living conditions of livestock and poultry, storage, and moisture content. Therefore, determining the nutrient content gives you an edge over other farmers in your locality. 

Sampling -- If you want to increase profitability and enhance the output of your farm, it is prudent to take samples of organic matter in your farm to assess the nutrient profile. Knowing the content of nutrients in the manure ensures that farmers can make an informed decision on which types of crops are ideal for different lots. Besides, you get to reduce wastage by applying the manure in ratios that will allow the plants to thrive. Samples are collected for laboratory analysis to determine the content of essential nutrients such as nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, and micro-nutrients like magnesium, calcium and sulfur. Moreover, lab analysis equips farmers with information regarding the moisture content of the manure. Ideally, manure that is high in water content has lower nutrients compared to solid manure because liquids dilute the nutrients.  

Save Money -- When the nutritional profile of your manure has been determined through lab analysis, you can go ahead and apply different farmyard manures at various sections of the farm, depending on the type of crop you are planting. Even though all plants require basic nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, the quantity needed for sustenance will vary from crop to crop. Nutritional profiling guarantees that you do not oversupply or under-supply a crop with nutrients from farmyard manure. In essence, you save money that would otherwise be required to purchase commercial fertilizers in bulk.