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Muck, Magic and Money

What value does organic manure have?


You can have it analysed, apply set financial values to each unit of fertiliser and then work out a value per tonne . This provides you with an answer about what you are prepared to pay for that which is on offer.


Fertiliser value for

Cattle FYM £15.00 / t

Broiler deep litter (55% DM) £65.00 / t


The problem is that you then have to apply it, apply it accurately to the whole field, not loose any, ensure it is available for the plant to take up and then get a plant to grow that is able to utilise it successfully.


What about its effect on organic matter? Well according to Rothamsted and their work on the long term experiment in the field Broadbalk. On the FYM treated plots, soil carbon (fashionable way of talking about organic matter) increases rapidly at first, by about 1.0 t/ha per year, then more slowly; soil plots now contain more than double that present in the nil or other treatment areas.


But what does all this mean in terms of commercial farming? Well I can only point back to Rothamsteds work, Prof Andy Whitmore who's ultimate aim is to learn more about this “X factor” soil organic matter delivers to a soil. “If you increase soil organic matter you get an increase in yield.”