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6. Manure Application

Intensively managed perennial grasses have the potential to absorb large quantities of N from manure [GIS-16]. Proper manure storage allows farms to conserve ammonia-N and greatly increase the amount of useable N applied, if manure can be incorporated. Most manure is currently surface applied to grass fields. If solid or semisolid manure is applied there are potential contamination issues to consider. No more than about 20 tons/acre of semi-solid manure should be applied at one time, unless the harvesting season is over. Higher rates risk contamination of harvested forage, which can result in poor fermentation of silage and could expose dairy cattle to serious pathogens.

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20 ton/acre of semi-solid dairy manure uniformly applied to grass after harvest.