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Current Project: Manure Application Methods


Graduate students: Anne Place (phase 2, MS in '11) and Joe Lawrence (phase 2, MS in '08).

Faculty and Staff

Quirine Ketterings and Greg Godwin (Nutrient Management Spear Program), Brent Gloy (Applied Economics and Management), and Curt Gooch and Karl Czymmek (PRO-DAIRY).

Participating Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators (2001-2017)

Shawn Bossard (CCE of Seneca County; resigned in 2010), Tom Kilcer (CCE of Rensselaer County; retired in 2009), Peter Barney (CCE of St Lawrence County; retired in 2008), Stephen Canner (CCE of St Lawrence County), Brian Aldrich (CCE of Cayuga County), and Joe Lawrence (CCE of Lewis County).

Participating Research/Teaching Centers, Campus Faculty, Consultants

Ev Thomas/Eric Young (Miner Institute), Peter Barney (Barney Agronomic Services), Peg Cook (Cook's Consulting).

Funding Sources

New York Farm Viability Institute and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

Popular Press Articles

Manure use survey


Producer Impact Statements

Journal Articles

  • Ketterings, Q.M, G.S. Godwin, S.N. Swink, and K.J. Czymmek (2013). Can manure replace the need for starter nitrogen fertilizer? Agronomy Journal 105:1597–1605.
  • Ketterings, Q.M., G. Godwin, P. Barney, J.R. Lawrence, B. Aldrich, T. Kilcer, K.J. Czymmek, and B. Gloy (2013). Shallow mixing of surface soil and liquid dairy manure conserves nitrogen while retaining surface residue. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 33: 507-517. DOI 10.1007/s13593-013-0141-1.
  • Lawrence, J.R., Q.M. Ketterings, J.H. Cherney, S.E. Bossard, G.S. Godwin (2008). Tillage tools for manure incorporation and N conservation. Soil Science 173: 649-658.

Extension Articles:

Additional Materials

Stalk Nitrate Test (CSNT) and Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT)

Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program CSNT and ISNT sample submission forms:

  • Submission Form ISNT, CSNT, S-Test
    • Mail samples to: Quirine Ketterings, 323 Morrison Hall, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. Phone: 607-255-3061.


Determining effective manure management options that are compatible with reduced-tillage corn systems is important for reducing nutrient runoff and N-volatilization. Shallow tillage not only offers the potential to conserve N, but also to reduce soil erosion compared to conventional tillage by reducing overall soil disturbance and maintaining a greater degree of surface residue cover. An aerating tillage tool was selected to be used in a two-year trial because of its minimum tillage capabilities and proved to be the most farmer available out of many other comparable machines. The aerator operates through the use of Shattertines®, eight-inch long, slightly angled, blades that rotate as they cut into the ground and shift the soil. This is unlike most conventional tillage equipment where the soil is churned and then followed by secondary tillage to prepare a seed bed.

The big question is: is shallow mixing with aeration equipment a way to conserve manure N, reduce odor and maintain or enhance soil organic matter levels?


    Determine impact of manure application methods on:
  • Yield and quality of corn silage/grain.
  • N conservation.
  • Surface residue coverage.
  • Compaction.
  • Moisture content of soil.

Phase 1 (2005-2007): Aurora Research Farm

We were successful in securing an Altria (Year 1) and a New York Farm Viability Institute grant (Years 2 and 3) for this project and initiated a 2-year study comparing chisel and Aerway incorporation to surface application and an inorganic N only control.

Results were document in numerous popular press articles and a peer-reviewed paper:

  • Lawrence, J.R., Q.M. Ketterings, J.H. Cherney, S.E. Bossard, G.S. Godwin (2008). Tillage tools for manure incorporation and N conservation. Soil Science 173: 649-658.

Phase 2 (2008-2009): Statewide Expansion: Ten On-Farm Sites

In 2008, we obtained funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute as well as the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program to continue this work (2008-2009) and expand it with nine additional farm trials, located throughout New York State. Producer statements about the project conducted in 2009-2010 can be found in the articles listed below:

  1. Musgrave Research Farm Key Site in Statewide Manure Incorporation Study. (1-18-2010)
  2. Western New York Farm Reaps Benefits of On-Farm Manure Incorporation Study. (1-18-2010)
  3. Timing is Right for Manure Incorporation Study at Mapleview Dairy LLC in St Lawrence County.
  4. Lewis County Farmer Participates in Statewide Manure Incorporation Project. (8-27-2009)
  5. St Lawrence County Farmer Sees Promising Results from Manure Incorporation Trials. (7-22-2009)
  6. Cayuga County Dairy Tests Alternative Manure Incorporation Methods in On-farm Research.
  7. Eastern New York Dairy Looks to Gain Economic Benefits from Manure Study.(7-1-2009)
  8. Diverse Team Researches Manure Incorporation on Cayuga County Farm. (6-18-2009)
  9. Miner Institute Participates in Statewide Manure Application Method Project. (6-9-2009)
  10. Central New York Dairy Farm Family Reaps Benefits of Manure Management Trials. (3-13-2009)

For Further Information

Information on this project can be obtained from Quirine Ketterings ( or 607-255-3061). You can also write to: Quirine Ketterings, Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 323 Morrison Hall, Ithaca NY 14853.