The University of Florida-ifas livestock waste testing laboratory

Justin Jones, George Hochmuth, Harrell Randolph


The University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) Livestock Waste Testing Laboratory (LWTL) has conducted analytical testing of livestock wastes and made recommendations for their use in fertilization of vegetable and agronomic crops since 1991. The UF-IFAS LWTL was begun with a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hydrologic Unit Area grant in the early 1990s. The purpose of the grant was to provide livestock waste testing, analytical results interpretation, and education for manure management in the Middle Suwannee River Area of northern Florida, home for many dairy and poultry operations. Today, the LWTL scope has expanded to the whole state and operations are funded by grants from a consortium of agencies, including UF-IFAS, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), and poultry and dairy organizations such as GoldKist and Sunshine State Milk Producers. The LWTL is very active assisting with the increasing demand for educational information about agricultural waste management associated with crop nutrient BMPs and water quality incentive programs. Each year the LWTL performs several thousand individual analyses on manure waste samples, largely from poultry and dairy farms, from all over Florida. LWTL workers assist researchers and extension specialists with research and demonstration projects on manure management with vegetables and agronomic row crops. For example, in previous research, mulched eggplant, muskmelon, and watermelon responded positively to poultry manure to 6 ton/acre, providing N of about 150 lb/acre. On-farm demonstrations have been carried out with muskmelon. This paper will summarize the results of 12 years of agricultural waste analyses, nutrient management recommendations, and research with vegetables.


best management practices; dairy manure; effluent; fertilization; fertilizer; manure analysis; manure management; nutrient testing; poultry manure; vegetable fertilization

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283