Spread Manure for Farm Fertility

By Staff

Turn livestock waste into increased soil fertility with regular manure applications.

Sponsored by John Deere Frontier
August 2017

If you have livestock, then you have manure. It’s just a fact of life. It’s also a fact that you have to clean it up and do something with it. The good news is livestock manure can make an excellent fertilizer for your pasture, which is why a manure spreader might be just the ticket for getting rid of your manure problem. Manure spreaders come in a wide variety of sizes and operating systems, but they’re all designed to mechanically throw manure out the back or side of the machine as you drive over your pasture.

In the video above you’ll notice that the PTO-driven manure spreader has been matched with a John Deere 5100E Utility Tractor, complete with an operator cab. Operator cabs are a pretty nice feature to have on your tractor if you’re going to be spreading manure. Because somewhere along the line, you might be moving downwind!

This PTO-driven manure spreader has a heaped capacity of 125 bushels. When fully loaded with dry manure, it will weigh about 4,500 pounds (2,041 kilograms). With a load that heavy, it’s important to make sure you have enough stopping power, just in case you need it. That’s another reason for using the heavier tractor.

This manure spreader uses PTO-driven chain drives to power the apron in the floor of the spreader, which keeps the manure moving to the rear. Those chain drives also power the paddle beaters in the rear of the spreader, which propel the manure out the back of the machine. It’s a good idea to check the tension of the drive chains on each side of this spreader before each use. Their tensions should be matched as closely as possible, and can be tightened individually with a simple lock nut mechanism.

To control the rate of manure application, a 2-speed gearbox controls the speed of the paddle beaters. With this kind of machine, the coverage of manure you apply to your pasture simply depends on your ground speed and the gearbox speed setting.

Even though livestock manure can be a great nutrient additive to pasture or crop land, it’s important to keep an eye on the nutrient levels in the land to make sure they don’t get out of hand. Your local county extension office can be a great resource for helping you calculate manure nutrient content, soil requirements, and crop needs.

And always remember to read the operator manual before operating any piece of equipment, and follow all operating and safety instructions.


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