Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
Down Arrow
Tuesday, March 5 2019 7:00 AM
By Anne Burkholder

It's Not a Dirty Diaper!

Despite the fact that it occurred nineteen years ago, I have vivid memories of changing my oldest daughter’s first dirty diaper. She was only a couple of days old and it seemed to be a bit of a “right of passage” into the world of parenting. Most parents likely view poopy diapers as a necessary evil. Millions of dads have been known to instantly come up with a myriad of things that need to be attended to when that distinct smell enters the air!

I was lucky. At my house, daddy was also a farmer who viewed poop as a resource rather than a contaminant. While I don’t think that he ever really enjoyed changing those diapers, he viewed poop with a diverse mentality that didn’t send him immediately running the other way! 

Ask a farmer about manure (animal poop) and he’s likely to launch into a lecture about soil health. You’ll hear terms such as organic matter, base saturation, pH, living roots, earthworm activity or any of a number of macro nutrients that help plants to grow.

Macro nutrients are needed by both plants and animals in large quantities in order to operate their metabolisms and build their bodies.  The important ones are carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A farmer’s job is to use the soil to take molecules which are organized in a low energy state and reorganize them into forms that have energy and are ultimately available and usable to humans (food!).

Each year when a crop is harvested off of a field, it takes with it the important macro nutrients that nourished it during the growing season.  In order to maintain continuous soil health, these nutrients must be periodically reapplied to the soil.  The specific needs of the soil are determined by laboratory testing of the dirt through sampling. This is where manure enters the picture!

A practice called conditioning adds value to manure and provides an eco-friendly way to fertilize both large farms and backyard gardens. The practice reduces the moisture level and gives the product a fine and consistent particle size making for easier and more accurate application. In addition, the conditioning process fosters internal temperatures of greater than 140 degrees for an extended period of time which reduces both pathogen levels and weed seed germination in the conditioned manure.

Through routine sampling of the conditioned manure, our team at GK Environmental services can help both farmers like my husband and gardeners like you to take good care of the soil. By telling you exactly what macro nutrients are in the conditioned manure and delivering it in an application friendly package, it makes for an easy way to enable you to reorganize those molecules into high energy forms that result in great tasting vegetables all throughout the growing season!

The idea is to rethink manure as a fertilizer. By working together, we can realize that animal poop is a resource, not a messy and dirty diaper! We ask that all of our Central Kansas neighbors help us to celebrate soil health by participating in our Free Composting Day April 6, 2019! That day, at our Great Bend Feeding and Ward Feedyard North facilities, we will be giving away free conditioned manure for all neighbors who want to join us in our efforts to rethink manure as a fertilizer. Stay tuned for more information!

Happy Gardening!

 

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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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