Corn School: Managing manure while dealing with corn rootworm resistance


Corn rootworm, manure, and soybeans — farmers don’t often hear those three words in the same sentence but we’ve come to expect the unexpected in 2020.

With growing resistance to corn rootworm traits in Ontario, many farmers who typically plant continuous corn will look to control the pest by expanding rotations to include soybeans. But what will livestock producers do with their manure when they add the oilseed to the rotation? For many continuous corn growers the crop plays a key role in helping them manage the nutrients their livestock produce.

What options do growers have? Can you spread manure on soybeans? On this episode of the Corn School, OMAFRA manure specialist Christine Brown discusses how corn makes a perfect home for livestock manure and why applying it to soybean fields is also an effective option.

Brown says corn is typically the first choice for manure application because of the crop’s ability to make efficient and economic use of the available nitrogen. When it comes to soybeans, manure provides nutrients and micronutrients to the soil, especially potassium, which improves soybean stalk strength and helps prevent lodging. Manure also provides soybean ground with much-needed organic matter. (Story continues after the video.)

However, there are challenges, especially in high-yielding soybean environments, where excessive nutrients can create ideal conditions for white mould development. But Brown says growers can effectively apply manure to soybean fields if they follow key best management practices. These include ensuring application rates are based on a manure analysis. Selecting soybean varieties that are typically shorter in stature and have good lodging scores is also important as are plant populations and row widths. For more details check out FieldCropNews.

Click here for more Corn School episodes.

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