Mixing Nitrogen Stabilizers in the Manure Pit

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Unless you’re maximizing manure fertilization with Instinct® nitrogen stabilizer, you could be missing out on a 10- to 12-bu./A yield increase.

tractor in manure pit image Across the Midwest, manure is becoming an increasingly important fertilizer type for cornfields during spring and fall. To maximize yield, growers invest their time, labor, machinery and fuel costs to apply liquid manure as an effective nitrogen source. And while there’s much to gain, just like with other nitrogen sources, there is also susceptibility to loss through leaching and denitrification. 

To extend nitrogen availability in the soil for up to eight weeks, Instinct can be easily mixed directly into deep pits and lagoons. This makes nitrogen available and ready when the crop needs it most: during critical growth stages. 

Here’s what you need to know about mixing Instinct® nitrogen stabilizer into the pit

  1. Instinct® nitrogen stabilizer can be evenly distributed throughout the entire manure pit using common agitation procedures. It’s vital that the liquids and solids within the pit are uniformly agitated and mixed into a slurry. 
  2. If application is delayed, re-agitation of the pit is recommended. Approximately a week after agitation, Instinct will move about 8% to 10% lower in the pit, according to Dow AgroSciences trials. 
  3. Using Instinct will not have an acidic effect on cement pits like other products in this space. Cement paste breaks down when in contact with acids, but Instinct has an alkaline pH of 7.9. Due to Instinct being alkaline in nature, it is very safe for pit walls. 
  4. Any Instinct remaining in the pit after pumping will stay encapsulated with no detrimental effects to the pit nor nutrient quality of the manure. The active ingredient in Instinct won’t release from the capsule until it has been incorporated with the soil, so it will retain product quality while remaining in the leftover manure slurry. 

The Advantage Lies in the Results

Research from the University of Minnesota shows Instinct® nitrogen stabilizer applied with fall swine manure provided 10- to 12-bushel-per-acre yield increase and reduced grain moisture of 1.3 percentage points at harvest.1 

“There’s good research on the Instinct products with manure,” said Clair Schmidt, Minnesota farmer and co-owner of Elm Creek Agronomy. “Instinct is one of those products that actually does what it says it’s going to do. The advantage of putting Instinct on simply comes down to yield. Now we’re getting better yields with less manure put on.” 

1 Vetsch, J., and J. Lamb. 2011. Applying Instinct as a nitrogen stabilizer for fall applied manure.  

 Instinct is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Federal law does not require any person who applies or supervises the use of Instinct to be certified in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws. Some states may have additional requirements related to liquid manure and nitrogen stabilizers. Be sure to consult your state or local Extension service to understand your requirements. When applying Instinct to deep pits, appropriate manure agitation safety steps should be followed. Instinct should be applied directly to the deep pit prior to pumping the pit; a thorough agitation system must be operating in order to evenly distribute Instinct within the deep pit; applicators and handlers of Instinct and manure treated with Instinct are required to use proper protective equipment as stated on the product label; air ventilation systems must be operational inside barns. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions.