Animal agriculture is a large segment of the economy in Oklahoma. The huge quantities of manure generated by animal feeding operations (AFO's) can be an economical source of plant nutrients and a valuable soil amendment to Improve Soil Quality and Maintain Soil pH. Thus, manure can be a valuable asset to a livestock production operation if its nutrients and organic matter are recycled through land application properly.
Manure may cause surface and groundwater pollution if mismanaged. The key to a proper management is to determine the nutrient content of the manure, the percentages of those nutrients that are available to crops, and the nutrient requirements of the crop at a realistic yield goal. These three factors will help you to apply the proper amount (agronomic rate), but the method and timing of application will ensure the effectiveness of nutrient you applied. Best management practices (BMPs) will minimize the impact of manure on the environment.