Ponoka Foodgrains saving money with fertilizer

Being able to save money as a farmer is always seen as a good thing.

Being able to save money as a farmer is always seen as a good thing. That’s especially so if you are the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The not for profit group raises funds every year with 170 acres of land south of Ponoka by selling their grains. To save money the group is using chicken manure to fertilize the canola they intend to plant. Farmer Henke Schuur bought the grains last year to feed his chickens and has now used fertilizer from those chickens.

“This is the ultimate recycle because feed taken off the land is given to the chickens,” said Schuur.

For maximum cost savings, Schuur spread the fertilizer as thinly as possible; two tons per acre or half a kilogram per square metre was put onto the field. “It’s longer lasting fertilizer.”

It took two spreaders about seven hours to cover the land, which he feels was at the most ideal time to fertilize as the ground did not have too much moisture and the soil structure had little compaction. For the last five years the Ponoka Foodgrains Project has been using chicken manure to fertilize and save money. A 2010 price comparison of fertilizer showed the project was spending $21.53 per acre compared to commercial fertilizer prices of $63.36 per acre.

Schuur enjoys being able to take benefit a positive cause. “It’s a good feeling.”

“For us it’s the best way to help. Also for the community feeling; you do it together.”

Last year’s barley harvest raised $57,000 before grants were applied to the sale.

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