Something for nothing?

Making Something out of Nothing.

What goes through your mind when you first say those words or read them in an article? At first, you might think wow, someone has come up with a great and helpful item to market. But then stop and think – something out of nothing is a fallacy once a little elementary biology and science is applied. Only YHWH can create something out of nothing. Creatio ex nihilo.

A recent editorial by a young woman in Journal of Nutrient Management with that very title caught my attention – what is this miraculous ‘something’!

Her editorial started out nicely, but when she compares the ‘trial’ of manure management to the hardiness and courage of our ancestors striking out across the country in a covered wagon to carve out a living, it was going to be difficult to glean anything of value from her story. But, out of curiosity, i read on.

As suspected, the ‘something’ was marketing a highly valuable nutrient (nothing?) off the farm. But, everyone knows that if ‘something’ is removed from the environment, sooner or later there is a cost to replace it. And in many cases, the cost to refine, remove, transport is astronomical. This is not to say it won’t pencil, but the cost is still more than financial.

Manure management by allowing natural processes is the best use of resources.

For the record, she is writing in support of a magazine which promotes the use of practices which require extreme movement and management of animal manure (nutrients) and in that respect, she accomplishes the purpose of her editorial.

Anytime there are closely confined animals or even people, there is a manure (sewage, nutrient) management issue. Our beef operation on pasture only means that if we manage the animals’ grazing, by default the manure is managed appropriately with the animals movements from paddock to paddock thereby reducing and eliminating environmental issues (no bare soil) and building soil by encouraging a habitat soil microbes and animals (earthworms, etc) will enjoy living and working in.

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nutrient management

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