Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Value of Manure

Trading manure and crop residues, considerations for a fair trade

graphic showing 2 people shaking hands surrounded by a circle of arrows pointing to manure on one side and bales on the other.
With harvest around the corner, you might be considering trading manure for cornstalks or vice versa. In many ways, it’s easier to pay cash for either product, but there are advantages to trading. This article will focus on what kinds of things to consider to be sure any deal made is a fair trade.

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Calculating the Value of Nutrients in Manure

manure emoji with cash in its eyes
“How much is this manure worth?” This is a common question from both livestock farmers who are supplying manure and crop farmers who are utilizing it. To answer this question, it is important to understand the difference between gross value and net value. The gross value of manure reflects the equivalent commercial fertilizer value of the nutrients contained in the manure. The net value considers the impacts of application method, transportation, and cropping system nutrient needs as well as intrinsic values that are much more difficult to put a number on. Therefore, this article will focus on determining the gross value of nutrients in manure.

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Valuing Manure as a Seller or a Buyer

spreading manure

When talking about manure's value, one needs to think about a variety of factors. Most folks think of fertilizer nutrients as manure’s primary value or MVP, but it takes more than one or two star players to make a great team. As such, manure wouldn't be as great as it is without other characteristics like the added organic matter that you get when applying manure, or the microbial community that is added to your field with that application.

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Maximizing Profitability of Manure Use

truck mounted spreader going over tarps to calibrate
Fertility is critical to a good crop, so we know not to ignore our crop fertility needs, but we don’t always think about ways we may be able to trim costs by better utilizing local nutrients. Manure has many benefits, including some related to soil health, but perhaps the most recognized benefit is that manure contains the nutrients our crops need. Manure isn’t always an inexpensive product, but it contains multiple nutrients that are highly valued when planning your fertility program.

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Backyard Biogas Production from Animal Manure: Process and Utilization

Fixed-Dome Type biogas plant (Vigeli et al, 2014)
This article outlines the process of production and benefits of utilization of biogas from manure for small scale animal farmers, especially those in developing countries. Apart from the sanitary benefit of proper management of manure, this article highlights other benefits that can be derived from animal manure. Thus, encouraging these farmers to store manure from their animal farms for use, thereby changing waste to valuable resources.

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