LONDON, Ohio -- As fertilizer prices continue to soar, crop producers may be turning to manure for their fertility needs. Manure management will be the focus of a one-day event, being held this summer at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.
The 2008 Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo will take place July 9. The event is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Michigan State University, Purdue University, Penn State University and Cornell University. Additional sponsors include Ohio Composting and Manure Management and the Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association.
The theme of the Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo is "The Economics of Recycling" and will include commercial field demonstrations, educational demonstrations, educational sessions, and commercial vendor displays. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The following is a sample of some of the educational sessions being offered at the event:
• Manure 101: The Superior Fertilizer. Understanding how the application rate and timing affect utilization of nutrients is key to maximizing the value of manure. Learn to calculate the value of manure nutrients as well as the role of calibration. Presented by Robert Mullen, Ohio State University soil fertility specialist.
• Records: What? Why? How? Good documentation of manure application can save time and money. Records are important in determining nutrient needs and essential evidence in the event of an accidental spill. Presented by Kevin Elder, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Livestock Environmental Permitting Program.
• Growing a Management Team. Good communication between producers and applicators is the key to a successful team. What key pieces of information do producers and applicators need to ask and tell each other? Presented by Bill Knapke, Cooper Farms.
• Safety Concerns. Livestock buildings and other spaces where manure is confined may create safety issues such as high emissions of gasses or particulates. How can these emissions be reduced and what safety measures should workers follow? Presented by Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension state safety leader.
Case studies will also be presented at the Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo. Such case studies will include:
• Using Liquids on Crops. How do manure application rates and timing affect crop production, the environment and the bottom line? Experiences from two farms will be shared.
• Brokering and Custom Application of Poultry Manure. Excess manure nutrients can provide an additional source of income. How can a third party help market those nutrients? What are the potential risks and liabilities?
• Environmental Management. The role of the custom applicator is expanding to include assessing the whole farm nutrient balance and recommending application practices. How can the producer and applicator ensure quality control to enhance economic and environmental goals?
• Extending the Application Window. Management of manure storage is important to maximizing value and minimizing risks. How can practices such as side dressing help?
Educational demonstrations will round out the Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo. Topics covered include calibration of manure handling equipment and application rates; best management practices of stockpiling manure; slurry seeding application; and the importance of maintenance and proper handling of equipment to ensure safety.