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The increasing costs of fertilizers and the ever present need to minimize pollution has resulted in an increased interest in the efficient utilization of the nutrients in animal manures for crop production. One of the principal concerns in British Columbia related to both utilization and disposal of farm manures is the movement of nitrogen. This concern is based on the fact that nitrogen in various molecular forms is readily lost during manure handling, storage and application to land. These losses result in a reduction in the fertilizer value of the manure and an increase in the potential for environmental problems. Although most British Columbia farmers wish to utilize the nitrogen in the manure for crop production, estimating the rate at which to apply the manure to land is difficult. The nitrogen content of the manure is affected by many factors such as animal species and breed, diet, manure handling systems, methods of storage and spreading, and local environmental conditions. Values published for the quantity of manure excreted and its nitrogen con tent vary widely (Loehr 1977), and do not adequately allow for many of these factors. Analysis of manure for nutrient con tent just prior to spreading is considered, in most cases, unacceptable. The manure must be mixed in order to get a representative sample and then the farmer must wait for the analyses. This time delay, when coupled with the questionable ability of inexperienced workers to obtain a truly representative sample, has discouraged this approach.
nitrogen mass balances for dairy farms from feed to field
Bulky, N. R. and N. Holbek 1982. NITROGEN MASS BALANCES FOR DAIRY FARMS FROM FEED TO FIELD. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 24(1):19-24.
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