Advantages of oilseed meals in fertilizer markets

One concern in using oilseeds as animal feed is cost. As listed in Table 1, soybean meal is 1.9 times greater in cost than DDGS, 2.5 greater than wheat bran, and 2.7 times greater than rice bran. As mentioned above, animal feed accounts for the greatest in any animal operation, therefore animal producers are likely to choose the most economical option for their operation.

Similar to DDGS, the high N concentration and plant N availability of oilseed meals is appealing to organic growers who have limited options for fertilizer N sources. Most oilseed meals are currently approved by OMRI for use as an organic fertilizer in the U. S. as "uncomposted plant materials) NOP standard 205.203(c)(3) (NOP, 2011). Soybean meal is currently listed in the Generic Materials List as an allowed Crop Fertilizer and Soil Amendment (OMRI, 2011b). While canola meal, mustard meal, and other oilseed meals are not listed, products containing canola meal and mustard meal are listed under the OMRI materials database. Oilseed meals do not have the approval issues associated with DDGS because the pressing process used for extracting oils from the oilseeds is fairly simple and does not require the addition of chemical solvents or antibiotics during processing. Again, we recommend working with your organic certifier before using oilseed meals as a fertilizer source, even though they are generally approved as an organic fertilizer source. For example, individual certifiers may have concerns if the seeds used were genetically modified organism (GMO).

Mustard meal has unique properties that make it a favorable fertilizer and even herbicide source, yet a very poor option as an animal feed. Mustard meal is considered harmful to animals as a feed source due to high concentrations of erucic acid and glucosinilates (Joseffson, 1970). However, the presence of glucosilinates, which break down to isothiocyanates, can be beneficial for a wide variety of pesticide applications. Mustard seed meals have been shown to control weeds (Boydston et al., 2007; Norsworthy and Meehan, 2005; Rice et al., 2007; Vaughn et al., 2006), insect pests (Elberson et al., 1996,

1997) ; nematodes (Walker, 1996; Walker, 1997), and pathogens (Chung et al., 2002; Mazzola et al., 2007). Organic markets have taken interest in the pesticide properties of mustard seed meals, especially since effective organically certified pesticide option are limited. Organic growers can therefore benefit from both fertilizer and pesticide benefits of mustard meals. However, growers must be careful of applying the mustard meals too close to planting. Mustard meals can be non-discriminate and can burn emerging crop plants if not enough time is allowed for the isothiocyanate compounds to break down in the soil.

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