Tri-Provincial Manure Application and Use Guidelines: Alberta Version

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 The main purpose of this Tri-Provincial Manure Application and Use Guidelines is to assist producers to implement manure related beneficial management practices (BMPs). The information contained within this document is based on research and experience from the Canadian Prairie Provinces and draws on experience from other jurisdictions.These guidelines are the result of a combined effort of a team of scientists and other professionals from across the Prairie Provinces. Acknowledgement and thanks go to the following organizations:
  • Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
  • Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization
  • Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Manitoba
  • Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute
Contributors from Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development include:
  • Dr. Mohamed Amrani, Nutrient Management Specialist
  • Dr. Barry Olson, Research Scientist, Soil and Water
  • Allan Howard, Soil Moisture Specialist
  • Dr. Dan Heaney, Branch Head (Currently with Norwest Labs)
Note: To view the sections contained within the Tri-Provincial Manure Application and Use Guidelines document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher.

Table of Contents

Section 1. Introduction

Section 2. Understanding Manure
In order to properly use manure as a fertilizer, producers need to understand moisture content, nutrient forms, nutrient transformations, and nutrient availability.

Section 3. Soil Sampling and Analysis
Soil sampling and analysis is the only way to determine the available nutrient status of a field and to receive field-specific fertilizer recommendations.

Section 4. Manure Sampling and Analysis
To calculate manure application rates, an estimate of the nutrient content of the manure must be known.

Section 5. Understanding the Soil Test & Manure Test Reports
The purpose of soil testing is to measure the amount of available nutrients in the soil in order to establish the amounts of additional nutrients that should be applied to meet the crop nutrient requirements.

Section 6. Calculating Manure Application Rates
Manure is a fertilizer and can be used to meet the fertilizer recommendations on the soil test reports.

Section 7. Manure Application Equipment
The manure application method has considerable impact on nutrient retention and loss.

Section 8. Manure and the Protection of Water, Air & Soil
Manure is a valuable source of nutrients and organic matter that can replace or reduce the need for chemical fertilizer and improve soil quality. However, there are risks associated with using manure.

Section 9. Record Keeping
Manure management planning requires that the manure management information be organized and application practices well documented.

The following tools are contained within the appendices to assist producers in managing manure as a fertilizer:
  • A general unit conversion table and quick look-up conversion table.
  • Worksheets for calculating solid and liquid manure application rates (imperial and metric).
  • Note for liquid and solid manure application rate calculation worksheets.
  • Calibrating liquid manure applicators (imperial).
  • Calibrating solid manure spreaders (imperial).
  • Annual manure management summary.
While the authors have taken every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this document, it should not be considered the final word in the areas of law and practice that it covers. Users should consult the advice of appropriate professionals and experts as the facts of individual cases may differ with those contained in this document.

All information (including descriptions of or references to products, persons, web sites, services or publications) is provided entirely as is and the authors make no representations, warranties or conditions, either expressed or implied in connection with the use of or reliance upon this information. This information is provided to the recipient entirely at the risk of the recipient and because the recipient assumes full responsibility, the authors shall not be liable for any claims, damage losses, or any kind based on any theory or liability arising out of the use or reliance upon this information (including omissions, inaccuracies, topographical errors and infringement third party rights).

For more information about this document, contact:
Trevor Wallace
Nutrient Management Specialist
6547 Sparrow Drive
Leduc, AB T9E 7C7
Phone: (780) 980-7587
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Trevor Wallace.
This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
This information published to the web on June 21, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 1, 2015.