North Dakota State University (NDSU) nutrient management specialists have offered to make on-farm visits to help producers sample manure properly and determine agronomic manure application rates. The nutrient management specialists want their farm visits to be an educational opportunity for producers.

Published manure nutrient values can be used for planning, but the NDSU experts emphasize that manure needs to be sampled to verify its fertility. If incorrect manure values are used, nutrients could potentially be over- or under-applied, therefore inadvertently affecting crop yields.

In addition to helping producers this year, NDSU Extension Livestock Nutrient Management Specialists Teresa Dvorak and Chris Augustin hope to collect data that will document nutrients in livestock manure in the state. The NDSU experts plan to sample various manure types from livestock on varying diets and from different storage methods. The project has funding for three years. Cooperating producers will remain anonymous.

"We want 100 samples this spring and 100 samples this fall," Augustin says. "The book values we have been using for nutrient management plans are from other areas of the United States. We believe that North Dakota producers like North Dakota numbers, and this is one project that will provide that information."