Pig manure, a natural fertilizer. Why treat it with Solugen ?
Manure: excrement and water only?
The definition of manure as it appears in Wikipedia for example is: ”an agricultural effluent, a mixture of livestock manure (urine, excrement) and water in which the liquid element dominates”. In fact it is a little more complex than this, and manure is a ‘cocktail’ of a whole range of elements whose proportions vary according to certain parameters such as the type of farming, animal feed and rainfall in the case of uncovered slurry pits.
A distinction is therefore made between endogenous and exogenous elements that make up manure:
Endogenous: faecal matter, urine, hair
Exogenous: wash water, precipitation water, debris and accidentally added objects
As manure is intended to be spread for these fertilizing properties, it is therefore important to characterize it and to know not only its components, but also its degree of harmlessness for crops and possible pathogenic risks.
What’s in hog manure?
In addition to its high water content, pig manure is a complex ‘cocktail’ of nitrogen in different forms, phosphorus, potassium, but also calcium, magnesium, sodium, and trace elements such as copper, zinc, manganese, iron, boron, molybdenum.
From a microbiological point of view, manure contains bacteria from the porcine faecal flora, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Yersinia enterocolitis. Liquid manure can also contain various drug molecules, such as antibiotics for example, and substances resulting from the degradation of these antibiotics by microbial mechanisms present in the storage pit.
An essential fertilizer. A necessary characterization
Liquid manure is universally known for its fertilizing virtues and as such is spread on crops according to well-established regulations. The spreading must be carried out according to precise rules for a fertilization adapted to the needs of the plants and according to the profile of the soil. These rules prevent the migration of nutrients (nitrogen or phosphorus) to the watershed.
Each producer must have a fertilization plan drawn up prior to application that evaluates the quantity of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be applied to identified plots.
Manure characterization is a step-by-step protocol (in Quebec):
1: Estimate the annual volume of manure produced
2: Calculation of the sampling frequency (the characteristics of the slurry vary according to its depth in the pit, the composition of the slurry in the last third of the pit (bottom of the pit) is very different from the upper third). As an example, if 50 trips of 3000 gallons are required to empty the pit and one sample requires 5 samples, then every 10 trips would be required.
3.Preparing samples from the test material taken according to an established procedure
- Analysis and report by laboratory specialized in the analysis of farm fertilizers
Such a practice allows a better understanding of soil phosphorus and nitrogen requirements and helps to limit the harmful effects of over-fertilization on crops as well as environmental issues (particularly about phosphorus).
Not one, but several types of manure
However, the distribution and concentration of its fertilizers varies according to various parameters such as the maturity of the animal and the type of breeding, the period of application. In this case it is more appropriate to use the term slurry in the plural. The washing water, the quantity of which varies according to the type of breeding and the period of the year, also intervenes in the concentration of the manure in fertilizing elements as well as the precipitation water which accumulates in the uncovered pits.
Here are some examples of these variations.
Volume of manure produced per day
|Type||Average volume stage before washing
Average volume after washing
Concentration of fertilizing elements in manure according to physiological stage in kg/m3 (average values)
|Type||N (Nitrogen)||P2O5 (Phosphorus)||K2O (Potassium)|
Why treat slurry with Solugen?
In addition to the economic advantages, such as a lower operating cost than conventional manure management, already mentioned in previous blogs, and the environmental benefits, the treatment solution proposed by Solugen allows an optimized management of manure fertilizers.
- The solid fraction that concentrates most of the phosphorus represents only 10% of the volume of manure (maternity manure). It is therefore easier and cheaper to transport this fertilizer portion to the application areas, especially for farms located in agricultural areas of phosphorus saturation.
- The products resulting from the treatment of liquid manure are equally stable in terms of their composition, so it is easier to characterize them.
- The analysis of the bioproducts (liquid and solid) resulting from the treatment demonstrate their innocuousness, for all the elements which compose them, as well as at the level of dioxins and furans.
- Ammoniacal nitrogen in liquid form, extracted from liquid manure, is presented as a simple fertilizer which allows an application and dosage adapted to certain crops in terms of nitrogen supply and avoids the risks of over-fertilization by other elements.
- The ammoniacal nitrogen normally volatilized in the atmosphere during the spreading of manure is recovered in liquid form and is very well suited for fertigation.