GHGMP News Releases

New Manure treatments offer multiple benefits to producers, environment

Indian Head, Sask., November 23, 2004

The landscapes may be different, but manure injection can be a valuable manure management option for producers in both British Columbia and on Prince Edward Island.

In B.C., research has demonstrated that multiple manure applications during the long growing season of the Lower Mainland can produce good forage crops without negative social and environmental effects. On the other side of the country, producers in P.E.I. are benefiting from research that shows injecting manure directly in the root zone makes valuable nutrients available to the crop.

The manure application projects are part of a series of demonstration projects funded by the federal Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture (GHGMP). Regional reports for these projects can be found on the recently revamped Soil Conservation Council of Canada Web site at www.soilcc.ca.

The research in B.C. is fine-tuning a variation of a liquid manure injection system that combines minimum soil disturbance with a manure application tool that bands narrow strips of manure directly onto the soil surface. The system doesn't inject manure in the conventional sense. The tillage/aeration tool opens the soil surface, allowing for improved infiltration of liquid manure. The technique reduces odour and optimizes nitrogen use.

"The system using liquid manure on forages increases the opportunities for producers to improve manure management," says Sandra Traichel, co-ordinator with the Abbotsford Soil Conservation Authority and the southern B.C. field co-ordinator of the GHGMP. "This strategy could benefit the crop, reduce input costs, minimize the soil impact associated with manure handling, as well as reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced through manure management."

The P.E.I. project, launched in 2003 and continuing until 2005, uses blanket injector equipment pulled behind a standard manure tank to inject liquid hog and dairy manure into the soil. "The goal is to demonstrate the value of manure injection over traditional broadcast application," says William MacNeill, a specialist in precision farming practices and P.E.I. field co-ordinator of the GHGMP. "The value in manure injection is that it can reduce nitrogen losses and odour concerns."

Demonstration sites will be monitored throughout the project, explains MacNeill. "We're also looking at the economics of injecting liquid manure," he adds. "The injector attachment is a sizeable investment, but we'll look at the potential returns from increased yield and reduced fertilizer requirements, as well as opportunities for shared ownership."

The GHGMP supports a broad range of projects across Canada with the goal to promote awareness of agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SCCC administers the delivery of the soil and nutrient management sector component of the program. For more information on activities, visit the SCCC's Web site at www.soilcc.ca.


For more information, contact:

William MacNeill
GHGMP field co-ordinator for P.E.I.
Phone: (902) 859-3126

Sandra Traichel
GHGMP field co-ordinator for southern B.C.
Phone: (604) 556-3732

Doug McKell, P.Ag.
Executive Director, SCCCa
Phone: (306) 695-4212
Email: info@soilcc.ca