Monday, October 30, 2023 saw the first snowfall of the year for most of Eastern Canada. While we’re not done harvesting our corn, thank goodness the soy has all been collected! Due to the weather, we lost a full day of harvesting, but luckily this snowfall won’t have too much of an impact – we still have 800 acres of corn to harvest! If more snow comes, we won’t be able to take care of the land like we should after a grain corn harvest; mainly, spreading manure.
Winter is not an appropriate time for manure application. Water can’t effectively infiltrate frozen or snowy ground. Water from melting snow, often combined with precipitation, moves off the field and carries nutrients with it. Research in Ontario indicates that 67%–98% of phosphorus lost from agricultural land leaves during the non-growing season (Government of Ontario). We will spread manure when the snow melts in the spring.
Did you know that manure is the best natural fertilizer? Manure helps the humus, the earth formed by the decomposition of plants, transform into mineral elements that can be eaten by plants.
Manure is a fertilizer for crops and provides them with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. In other words, it becomes food for plants.
But that’s not all. Manure also transforms into stable organic matter, which improves the structure of the soil and keeps it alive and healthy. All crops, whether organic or traditional, benefit from the addition of manure.
Farmers must have an agro-environmental fertilization plan carried out by agronomists that provide a framework for environmental protection. They contain recommendations that apply to the needs of each field and each crop. They indicate the distances to be respected between a spreading zone and water sources or even residential areas.
Once these plans are created, there are various verification checks. This ensures all farmers are adhering to high environmental standards, ensuring that the land remains fruitful for years to come.
To be sure, farmers remain important environmental stewards. It’s pretty clear that farmers practice reasoned and sustainable management of their manure.
The benefits are numerous for them and for society. By improving the fertility and structure of their soils, they increase the yields and quality of their crops while contributing to environmental protection. So, at the end of the day, it’s your food that becomes more eco-friendly.