Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Old McGlenno
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Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Old McGlenno » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:06 am

We were having a manure discussion in a previous thread of mine and a few of you were talking about how you handle manure from the pen to the field. At the time, I did not appreciate the reasons for which you would haul the manure to the field, leave it there, and then later load it into a spreader. At that point, I had never used manure for fertilizing large areas in real life or at all in the game. However, I finally do understand now why this is done, at least based on my experience in the game. I've found that manure does not go very far, at least compared to synthetic fertilizer.

I was wondering if this holds true in real life as well. Obviously manure is cheaper than synthetic fertilizer but it seems like you would need way more man-hours to apply it. In game, it does not seem worth it to use manure on mid-size to large farms...even on smaller farms unless you've got a lot of cows. Anyway, my question pertains more to real life. What are the main reasons people use manure as fertilizer in real life? Is it simply a cost issue or are there other factors that have a significant impact on the decision?

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baltic1284
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by baltic1284 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:22 am

There is many things that can impact that choice some is choice some is effect some is environmental. over time depending on the quality and chemicals in Artificial Fertilizer can harm the environment itself if not done properly or in general due to what they use as a binding agent. Manure has other benefits that Artificial Fertilizer does not have if you use Solid Manure you get bacterial growth, over time you can rebuild and make better top soil, you also get the bedding in there that helps with moisture retention to a point, you also get the naturally fertilized for next year. With the liquid stuff you get the same as solid except no plant material at all but it can be concentrated if left to sit in the tank for a while.
Manure itself doesn't go far if used and would either need make multiple trips to the farm to reload or to the pile to reload while Artificial Fertilizer goes farther per acre but again depending on quality can be good and great or bad and damaging over time. Most cases it falls to cost/coverage per acre depending on the stuff you use.

Illinois Farmer
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Illinois Farmer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm

Irl with 3000 hogs and 200 head of cattle they will produce a lot of soils and liquid manure. There is no place around here to sell it like you can the game. Then you are left with only one option to haul it out and fertilize your fields. If you decide not to haul it out and let things overflow, 1 the health of these animals would be affected and 2 the epa would be on you like white on rice.
1280 acre farm, 3000 hogs, 200 cattle, 16 ewes,1 ram, 30 lambs, and xbox one user and newly pc user.

Farmercaseih
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Farmercaseih » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:07 pm

I dont have livestock IRL, but my neighbor has some cattle and they only produced enough manure to do about 10 passes in a field. I have another neighbor that is a smaller cattle farmer, and he spreads his manure on the surrounding farmers fields (with permission of course) and it took pretty much all of what he had to do a 7 acre field.

Old McGlenno
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Old McGlenno » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:48 pm

Illinois Farmer wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:01 pm
Irl with 3000 hogs and 200 head of cattle they will produce a lot of soils and liquid manure. There is no place around here to sell it like you can the game. Then you are left with only one option to haul it out and fertilize your fields. If you decide not to haul it out and let things overflow, 1 the health of these animals would be affected and 2 the epa would be on you like white on rice.
Great point. This is what was happening with the chicken farms in Maryland and Delaware. All the manure was washing off into the Chesapeake and wrecking the ecosystem.

Couple of questions for you:
How long does it take to prepare and spread all that manure?
Does it cover all of your land?
How big is your spreader?

Illinois Farmer
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Illinois Farmer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:09 pm

1. Depends how far I have to haul it. If the field is close by I can do a load on 20 mins and take about 15 mins to fill the tank. For the hogs we have a slurry store, we try to get it around the bottom ring in the spring, summer, and empty before winter. It takes like 40 to 50 loads to go down 1 ring and if the field in close I can do 20 loads in a day. For the cattle, we clean them weekly and re bed them. Each cleaning only covers a couple passes in the fields.
2. No it doesn't cover everything, but it covers all the bean and what ground and some corn ground. That's why we have soil test and the co-op will put fertilizer, potash, and lime together.
3. Manure spreader is small and older it is an h&s 430. Our tanker is smaller too, it is a houle 5250.
1280 acre farm, 3000 hogs, 200 cattle, 16 ewes,1 ram, 30 lambs, and xbox one user and newly pc user.

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kahfs
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by kahfs » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:15 pm

Depending on the source of the manure (pig, cow), a typical spray rate is 35-45 tonnes per hectare. If you use the mod Variable Spray Rate, and set it to 30 T/ha, an 18 Tonnes spreader will make one pass on a medium size field. It takes a lot of will power to finish a field with this much driving back and forth, in particular if you use a front loader to fill the spreader. But, as one real life farmer explained, the organic matter is very useful to the crop and cannot be provided by artificial fertilizer. You would have to work some other plant material into the soil, if you don't have manure.
K. Henneberg/ArmChairFarming. Author of FS19_RealLifeNumbers

Ntw1986
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by Ntw1986 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:09 pm

You can hire a worker and set in options to use manure from cows or pigs so you don't have to fill it at all
Xbox 1

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baltic1284
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by baltic1284 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:56 pm

kahfs wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:15 pm
Depending on the source of the manure (pig, cow), a typical spray rate is 35-45 tonnes per hectare. If you use the mod Variable Spray Rate, and set it to 30 T/ha, an 18 Tonnes spreader will make one pass on a medium size field. It takes a lot of will power to finish a field with this much driving back and forth, in particular if you use a front loader to fill the spreader. But, as one real life farmer explained, the organic matter is very useful to the crop and cannot be provided by artificial fertilizer. You would have to work some other plant material into the soil, if you don't have manure.
Yeah early post I explained it in comparison earlier.

garyst
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by garyst » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:22 pm

There are a few farmers in my area with cows, but they don't have alot of them. I would say anywhere from about 20 to 50 head of cattle would be about what they have. But I have never seen a single one of them use the manure to fertilize either their own fields or anyone else's fields. Can't even recall ever seeing any type of manure application equipment on any of them farms that have cows in my life. Everyone over here uses synthetic fertilizers.

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baltic1284
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by baltic1284 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:31 am

I use manure got away from the synthetic stuff mainly due to damage to the environment it was causing something in the companies mix since I did that seen a big difference in the soil and in crop health. I have something like 100 head right now waiting to see how many calf. An average cow makes about 65 pounds of crap in a single day that is after around 30 gallons of water and 24 pounds of good feed and 4 gallons of urine so a cow does produce quite a bi of the stuff. Especially when you looking at 100 of em lol.

SJ_Sathanas
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by SJ_Sathanas » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:15 am

The only thing I know about muck spreading (as we cal it here) is you dont need to go near the farm to know when they are doing it. You can smell it for miles around lol.

I never use to bother with it in game but, if you're in a quiet period of seasons, it can pass the time. I generally cart it all to the BGA, though I'm going to try and use some production placeables to manufacture fertiliser this time around.

wombles
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by wombles » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:29 am

Ntw1986 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:09 pm
You can hire a worker and set in options to use manure from cows or pigs so you don't have to fill it at all
Hmm I forgot all about that, do it with the slurry so I don't know why I don't do it with the manure :confusednew:. I normally just fill my green houses up and ship the rest of too the BGA courtesy of courseplay, but that shall change.

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BoxTunnel
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by BoxTunnel » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:04 am

IRL (I'm not a farmer) but I often see flippin' great piles of manure, or a slurry tank, in the corner of a field so that's how I tend to play the game. A lot of cows and pigs in my area.

EnglishGent
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Re: Manure vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Post by EnglishGent » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:37 pm

I'm not one for doing lots of animals so I let it build up a bit and then do my smaller fields as it never seems to go far with the solid manure. In real life, the grass fields just over the hill from me have been done with manure and it's a rather 'country' smell outside at the moment... two days later..

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