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Along with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), potassium (K) is one of the three essential primary nutrients for soil fertilization. Hog manure, such as animal manure in general and dung, is rich in these basic elements. Hog manure includes other secondary nutrients such as manganese, calcium, sodium and a variety of trace elements.

N, P, K are the most commonly used macro-nutrients in agriculture. A distinction is made between natural fertilizers (slurry, manure) and chemically produced fertilizers. Therefore, the use of manure as a natural fertilizer is common practice in agriculture in many countries where swine production is important.

 

Variable concentrations depending on the type of manure

However, not all slurries present the same fertilizing values. The concentration of macro-nutrients varies according to the type of pig farm.

Farm type Dry matter (%) N (kg per ton) P (kg per ton) K (kg per ton)
Maternity 2,7 2,9 2 1,5
Nursery 2,3 2,6 1,6 2,1
Fattener 4,9 4,5 2,3 2,9

 

As a general rule, the nutrients in manure, due to their soluble form, are readily available to plants and are thus easily assimilated.

It should be noted that a fertilizer is only of value if its assimilation by the plant is optimal, if its use meets the plant’s needs and if it is applied at the right time, in relation to the plant’s growth stage and at its dosing. Finally, the method of application also plays an important role depending on whether the manure is applied as an immediate incorporation or as an injection.

The role of potassium

Potassium plays an important role for crops. It is found in the solution of plant cells.

– It is involved in the proper functioning of the stomata (small apertures present on the underside of the leaves most often). The stomata regulate gas exchanges in the plant and with its environment, and contribute to the maintenance of osmotic pressure. It maintains the plant during growth and allows the formation of resistant cell walls.

– It contributes to photosynthesis through its enzymatic action.

– In addition, it is involved in the metabolism of nitrogen and the synthesis of proteins.

A question of  adapted dosing

Fertilization is an unavoidable necessity for modern agriculture. However, the fertilization program must be adapted to the needs of the crops, according to the type of soil, and applied when the conditions are right and for an optimum benefit to these crops. For example, a clay based soil will be richer in potassium than a sandy soil.

In the case of manure, it is not always easy to adequately manage the combined use of several nutrients. For example, an excess of potassium can block the absorption of other elements important to plants such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, or iron. In case of  lack of magnesium the plant may show some growth deficiencies. It should also be noted that the composition of the manure varies depending on its level in the pit. The bottom of the pit will have a different composition than the first third, subject to rainfall for example.

 

Optimized management of manure fertilizers

Solugen offers a liquid manure treatment solution that extracts, in addition to liquid ammonia nitrogen, a potassium-rich liquid concentrate.

Liquid potassium concentrate extracted from pig manure

These bio-liquids are therefore not only easier and cheaper to transport but they also allow a better use of their fertilizing properties while constituting a potential source of additional income for the farmer.

Sources :

https://www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/Regions/monteregie/articles/production/Pages/Parlonspotassium.aspx

https://www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/Regions/monteregie/articles/production/Pages/Parlonspotassium.aspx

https://www.agrireseau.net/documents/Document_97203.pdf

https://fertilisation-edu.fr/nutrition-des-plantes/le-role-des-elements-nutritifs/potassium.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176161713003611

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