Liquid manure application to crop land
Liquid animal manure is land applied using liquid manure tankers or irrigation equipment. Liquid manure tanks are frequently pulled, much like a wagon, behind a tractor or mounted on a truck or other power source. Pull type tanks range in size from less than 1,000 gallons to over 8,000 gallons. Those that are mounted on a truck are generally between 3,000 and 6,000 gallons. Truck mounted tankers make over the road travel quicker and safer.
Liquid manure tankers generally discharge manure from the rear of the tank on the soil surface. Alternatively, various types of soil incorporation tools may be used and are generally mounted directly to the tanker. Manure from the tank is distributed through a series of hoses and discharges through the soil incorporation tool. Soil incorporation of liquid animal manure can minimize odors and conserve nutrients.
Land applications by sprinkler irrigation or by a drag-hose, tractor-mounted applicator are the current practical methods of applying large volumes of lagoon effluent or contained lot runoff. Drag-hose applicators can decrease odor problems and the loss of ammonia nitrogen to the air by incorporating the manure. The advantages of sprinkler irrigation include reduced cost because of lower energy and labor requirements.
Labor requirements can be further reduced by permanently installed underground pipes to sprinkler risers, center-pivot irrigators or hose attachment points for traveling guns or drag-hose applicators. However, land application of manure slurry and lagoon effluent with irrigation equipment requires a higher level of management than other methods of spreading to avoid pollution and nuisance problems.
Recommended Reading on Liquid Manure Application and Irrigation Equipment
Authors: Jon Rausch, Ohio State University and Ted Tyson, Auburn University