MTM started as a combination of the ideas behind the chemistries found in two other SFP products – AVAIL, a phosphorous fertilizer enhancer, and NutriSphere-N, a nitrogen stabilizer. MTM reduces nitrogen losses from leaching, volatilization and denitrification and helps reduce phosphorous lockup in soil when applied through manure. "When you dump the product in the pits, you see a reaction taking place," explains SFP regional manager in Iowa, Jeff Thompson. "It's an immediate reaction of the MTM stabilizing the nitrogen that is volatilizing off the manure."
Because it's biodegradable and polymer-based, MTM doesn't harm the environment and doesn't require specialized equipment to use. It helps reduce crusting and solids in manure, making it more consistent. This makes nutrient analysis more uniform. "A lot of times that is one of the complaints [of manure]," Thompson says. "Producers and custom applicators have to keep pulling manure samples all the way through the cleanout to make sure they are applying the correct amount of manure and nutrients to the soil. MTM should improve that part of the process."
Many farmers apply MTM to manure three or four times a year, but it can be applied any time. Thompson says it's best to apply it two weeks before emptying the pits to give it plenty of time to work. It's still recommended to agitate manure before pumping and use best practices to get the manure stirred. At $125 a gallon, it should be applied by the number of acres it will cover. 18 ounces per acre is recommended – about 14 gallons of MTM per 100 acres.
MTM has had a similar effect on farms across the country. SFP has yield data from 46 trials in 12 states. "That ranges across all species of livestock and many different forms of manure application," Thompson says. "The average yield increase is 9.7 bushels on all those trials." Although it has only been marketed since February 2012, after a trial run in 2011, there has been a strong demand. "75% of the phone calls I receive are on that product," he says. "We've had a lot of testimonials from people all across the livestock industry who are very satisfied with More Than Manure."
For the full article on SFP's More Than Manure, read the April issue of Wallaces Farmer.