Composting manure easier to transport, boosts carbon

Farmers applied manure on six percent of cropland in Manitoba in 2010, five percent in Alberta and three percent in Saskatchewan, according to Statistics Canada.

The low numbers didn’t surprise Agriculture Canada researcher Frank Larney.

The specialist in composting and soil reclamation said they are similar to figures in the last agriculture census, which illustrates the point: “We didn’t spread it around enough.”

He said the low percentage in Saskatchewan can be attributed to the province’s large farms and fewer livestock.

Quebec, which has less farmland and more integrated crop and livestock operations, was the highest at 44 percent.

Larney told a manure management update meeting in Lethbridge Jan. 14 that half of Canadian farms applied some form of manure to their land in 2010. In Western Canada, it broke down to 50 percent in Alberta, 48 percent in British Columbia, 47 percent in Manitoba and 36 percent in Saskatchewan.

However, the low number of acres that received manure shows it wasn’t spread too far.

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