As days become shorter and nights turn cooler, the sights and sounds of harvest come into focus across Manitoba’s prairie landscape. Farmers start moving equipment into place, working long hours and hard days to bring in the crops they have tended to and worried about for months. After they’re done, they return key nutrients to the soil by applying manure, signaling the end of the season’s crop cycle.
“All crops require nitrogen and phosphorus to grow,” says Scott Dick, co-founder of Agra-Gold Consulting. “Manure is an excellent source of these essential nutrients, and our team provides expert nutrient management services for farmers to ensure that manure is applied at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place to meet the nutrient needs of the farmland.”
According to Statistics Canada, about 90 percent of hog manure in Manitoba is injected under the soil surface or incorporated into the soil, the highest rate in Canada. This method of application ensures that valuable nutrients are not lost through runoff but remain firmly in the soil for uptake by plant roots — it’s nutrient recycling at its best. It also mitigates odour and greenhouse gas emissions.
Scott and his team are a key part of Manitoba hog farmers’ commitment to protecting our natural resources. To prevent runoff and safeguard our waterways, farmers must file annual manure management plans with the provincial government, which must be designed and managed by registered manure management planners, like Scott.
“I love working with farmers and helping them grow the food that goes on our tables while protecting our environment,” Scott says. “Every day, I can see that Manitoba hog farmers are passionate about protecting the environment, and they’re committed to following best management practices that meet or exceed environmental regulations.”
Manitoba’s hog farmers raise the animals and help grow the crops that feed us here at home and millions of people around the world. This fall, as the crops are harvested and the soil begins to rest over the winter months, farmers will once again do what they have done for generations: protect our land and water so that the work can begin anew in the spring.
To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/environment