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2024 Projects: Value of Manure

What are the Nitrogen Value and Yield Benefits of Manure?

Manure is a tremendous valuable nutrient source that can help build soil organic matter, enhance nutrient cycling, and in general improve soil health and climate resilience (improved yield stability, i.e. reduced year to year yield variability) despite weather extremes. Manure use can offset the need for synthetic fertilizer, ensuring a reduced environmental footprint for crop production, benefiting farm economics, agronomic production, and contributing to climate change mitigation. However, very few studies have quantified the benefits of manure in terms of nitrogen fertilizer replacement and yield and forage quality benefits and crop production economics. Quantification of nitrogen credits and yield benefits is needed to advance manure management in future years.

In 2022, we initiated a 3-year study based on two questions: (1) how much nitrogen can be credited to various manure sources; and (2) what are the corn grain and silage yield benefits of fall or spring applied manure?

If you are interested in participating, contact Quirine Ketterings ( or 607-255-3061). You can also write to: Quirine Ketterings, Nutrient Management Spear Program, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 323 Morrison Hall, Ithaca NY 14853.


    Our goals are to evaluate the value of various manure sources, applied in the fall or in the spring, with or without incorporation or injection, for corn silage and/or grain.

Funding Sources

This project has been sponsored by grants from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP), New York Farm Viability Institute, and federal formula funds.

Additional Resources

Farmer Impact Stories

Fact Sheets

Extension Articles

Journal Articles

  • Ketterings, Q.M., G. Godwin, P. Barney, J.R. Lawrence, B. Aldrich, T. Kilcer, K.J. Czymmek, and B. Gloy (2013a). Shallow mixing of surface soil and liquid dairy manure conserves nitrogen while retaining surface residue. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 33: 507-517.
  • Ketterings, Q.M, G.S. Godwin, S.N. Swink, and K.J. Czymmek (2013b). Can manure replace the need for starter nitrogen fertilizer? Agronomy Journal 105: 1597-1605.
  • Sadeghpour, A., Q.M. Ketterings, G. Godwin, and K.J. Czymmek (2017). Shifting from N-based to P-based manure management maintains soil test phosphorus dynamics in a long-term corn and alfalfa rotation. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. doi: 10.1007/s13593-017-0416-z.