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winter nitrogen content in manure in cold climates

 
Thomas Olson
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I was just wondering about the nitrogen content in manure. Say a cow is on a cereal crop but it's all dried out. It's not green, so there is little or no nitrogen in it. So, from my perspective, it seems as though there is no nitrogen input, so there will be no nitrogen output if you know what I mean.
 
Ardilla Esch
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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My understanding is that dried/old cow manure still has a decent amount of nitrogen in it. Typical fresh cow manure is the range of 2.5 - 4% N (dry weight), with C:N ratios around 12 to 20. I've heard old manure is more like 1.5% N, with a C:N somewhere near 30 - which is close to fresh horse manure. I don't think the manure loses nitrogen to the degree that fresh grass clippings do if that is your thinking...
 
Thomas Olson
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I figured out the answer shortly after I asked. I forgot to remove it. Waste is the product of cell breakdown.
 
Disha Mehta
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hi, i am new here and a student almost blank about all this agricultural field, ii was wondering if anyone could explain me C:N ratio n why less C:N ratio is desired?
 
Ardilla Esch
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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Both carbon and nitrogen are required for organism growth - which is primarily bacteria in the case of composting. In terms of the nutrients required for microrganism growth, roughly 30 to 60 parts by weight are used for each part of nitrogen. So if the C:N ratio of the materials you make your compost pile out of is close to what the microorganisms need - the organisms grow at a fast rate and composting occurs relatively quickly. Faster composting means you get finished compost faster and it also means the pile will heat up significantly which kills unwanted seeds. Heat will also keep a pile working in winter.

In general, a C:N ratio around 25:1 or 30:1 is best because the organisms can process a little excess nitrogen. If nitrogen is too high - composting slows, ammonia and odors can be generated. If carbon is too high - composting is slower, but that is about it.

 
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