# Organic Manures and Fertilizers for Vegetable Crops

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3 widely used in Kentucky and since much of the nitrogen in soils is used or lost from one season to the next, we make a blanket recommendation of lbs of N per acre for sweet corn in ID-36. When commercial fertilizers are used, this amount is applied before planting and is supplemented by a sidedressing of lbs of N per acre when plants are about knee high. Consider the source. Now consider the source, moisture content, and quality of the manure or organic material to be used. If we are using a dry or composted material containing little or no moisture, we should use Table 2 to make the necessary calculations. If we use fresh manure, the figures in Table 1 should be used. Making conversions. We have decided to use the lower N level of 80 lbs per acre, since we feel our soil may still have some residual N from last year's bean crop which was grown on this plot. We have found a source of composted poultry manure and plan to use it as our nutrient source. To calculate the manure required to provide the required 80 lbs of nitrogen, look at Table 2 under poultry; the N content is 3.2%. Now divide the 80 lbs by 3.2 = 25 and multiply the result by 100 = 2500 lbs. This is the amount of this manure required to obtain the 80 lbs/acre of nitrogen recommended. To obtain this in tons simply divide again by 2000 (2500 ÃƒÂ 2000 = 1.25 tons). In this example we will have obtained 80 lbs of nitrogen together with 130 lbs of phosphorus (P 2 O 5) and 45 lbs of potassium (K 2 O). The amount of P 2 O 5, and K 2 O are calculated for the 2500 lbs of manure by multiplying 2500 by the appropriate percentages in Table 2 and then dividing by 100. The amount of P 2 O 5, for example, is 2500 lbs x 5.2 = 13,000 divided by 100 = 130 lbs For the amount of K 2 O, multiply 2500 lbs x 1.8 and then divide by 100 = 45 lbs. Additional phosphorus. Now suppose that the soil is very low in phosphorus and the soil test suggests applying 180 lbs of phosphorus. We have obtained 130 lbs of phosphorus from the poultry manure and need an additional 50 lbs, but do not want to apply much more nitrogen. Looking at Table 2 we decide to supply our phosphorus using raw bone meal which is 22% P 2 O 5 and 3% N. Dividing 50 lbs of P 2 O 5 by 22=2.27 and multiplying by 100=227 lbs Thus, 227 lbs of raw bone meal/acre will supply 50 lbs of P 2 O 5. Performing a similar calculation for the N tells us that we will only obtain about 7 (6.8) lbs of N/acre using raw bone meal. Use this same means of calculation if additional potassium is needed. Note: Information in Tables 1 and 2 should be used only as guidelines. Nutrient contents for manures vary greatly and the figures below are averages from a range of possible values Table 1. Nutrients in FRESH animal manure. Average nutrient composition (percent of fresh weight) Source Water content N P 2 O 5 K 2 O Beef cattle Dairy cattle Horses

4 Hogs Sheep Laying hens Broilers (litter) some broiler producers use Roxarson and Nitarsone in their feed mixes as medications. Growers using litter containing these products cannot sell produce grown with this manure as certified organic in Kentucky. Table 2. Nutrient contents of DRY manures and organically approved fertilizer materials. Average nutrient composition Source (percent dry weight) N P 2 O 5 K 2 O Dairy cows Feedlot cattle Horse Poultry Sheep Hogs Goat Rabbit Tobacco stems* Bat guano Blood meal Bone meal, raw Bone meal, steamed Cottonseed meal Fish meal Fish emulsion Feather meal Soybean meal Tankage* Sewage sludge* Sewage sludge activated* "soft" rock phosphate

5 Greensand Phytamin *Not cleared for certified organic production. Sewage sludge should not be used for vegetable crops because of possible heavy metal and e. coli contamination.

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