Seeding Annual Ryegrass in Manure Slurry

Tim Harrigan, University of Michigan associate professor and agronomist, has developed farm equipment to deliver cover crop seed as part of a tank of manure slurry.

Livestock farmers have excess manure; planting a cover crop creates the perfect way to dispose of the excess nutrients to benefit a newly seeded annual ryegrass cover crop. With a cover crop on the field all winter, it holds the nutrients in the field, in the soil, instead of it leaching into nearby waterways. Then, when the annual ryegrass is terminated in the spring, it has tons of “scavenged” nitrogen to give to the oncoming corn or soybean crop.

Harrigan devised a way to deliver both the seed and the nutrient slurry together in one operation. “Combining several farming operations into one saves farmers time and money, at a time (fall) when we’re pressed to get all these things done,” Harrigan said.

Check out this video of the operation:

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