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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Application of Manure to Double Crop Soybeans to Encourage Emergence

The summer manure application window following wheat harvest is typically the 2nd largest application window each year. In recent years there has been more interest from livestock producers in applying manure to newly planted soybeans to provide moisture to help get the crop to emerge.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted soybean fields. It’s important that the soybeans were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating soybean seed. It is also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so soil phosphorus levels are kept in an acceptable range.

An acre-inch of water is 27,154 gallons. Applying 10,000 gallons per acre of dairy manure would be about 0.37 inches of moisture. Applying 7,000 gallons of swine manure would be about 0.26 inches of moisture. While we strongly encourage the incorporation of livestock manure whenever possible, using manure to help with double-crop soybean emergence does not allow for incorporation unless one uses a Grassland applicator toolbar or perhaps an Aerway set on maximum soil disturbance.

If soybeans are just out of the ground, swine-finishing manure and dairy manure will kill the emerging plants. We applied swine finishing manure to early V3 soybeans at the Hoytville OARDC research farm for three years and while the manure did not kill the soybeans, there was significant leaf burning. Swine nursery manure and sow manure are unlikely to kill emerged soybeans.

If manure is incorporated before planting double-crop soybeans be sure the manure salt and nitrogen are not placed in the planting zone. Placing the manure in contact with germinating seeds can result in severe emergence problems.

If red clover was frost seeded in the wheat, young clover is easy to kill with a summer manure application. Livestock producers have told me stories of accidentally killing clover stands when applying manure to wheat stubble just after wheat harvest.

As always, print out the weather forecast when surface applying manure. Remember the “not greater than 50% chance of 0.5 inches of rainfall in the next 24 hours” rule in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.