What to do if you don’t have enough manure

Various options are available if you want to ensure good yield.

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Following our recent series on using kraal manure as fertiliser, a reader asked what could be done if there was not enough manure to cover an entire land. If this is the case, consider planting part of the land only. Concentrate on this area and apply all available manure. This will enable you to keep weeds under control effectively and allow you to apply manure at the recommended rate.

You may even find that your crop yield on this section exceeds the yield you once obtained when planting the entire area to crops. If you need to plant the entire land, try band- or spot-placing. This is likely to give you higher yields than when the same quantity of manure is broadcast, especially if this quantity is less than recommended.

Band-placing manure
Here, a line of manure is placed in a furrow below or to the side of the seed, but never touching the seed.

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See also: Fertilising with manure

A little manure is placed in a shallow hole below or to the side of every seed planted. Band- and spot-placing concentrate the manure, and therefore the nutrients, in the soil closest to the plants. This enables the roots to reach the nutrients easily, while reducing the quantity of manure needed. Because the soil is fertilised only in some parts, the fertility of the rest is not improved. As a result, it is necessary to fertilise at every planting.

Source: Using Kraal Manure as Fertiliser, W van Averbeke and S Yoganathan, Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute, Fort Hare.