Swine Waste Value May Slow US Herd Reduction

by 5m Editor
2 January 2007, at 11:28am

US - U.S. swine herds are expected to shrink in 2007 as producers incur losses at times due to higher corn costs, but the value producers may reap from hog manure's use as fertilizer could possibly slow herd reductions.

The value of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium along with other trace minerals found in swine waste can be as much as $50 per acre on cropland to be planted to corn, say agricultural economists.

Fertilizer costs are high due to strong energy prices, as fertilizer production is an energy-intensive process. As such, many farmers seek alternative lower-cost sources of fertilizer. For swine producers who are either also crop farmers or are in partnerships with crop farmers, the manure from their hog operations may provide cheaper sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for their crops.

The prospects of high feed costs on a longer-term basis and low to negative net-returns for hog producers could cause some operations, especially older facilities, to reduce the size of their breeding herds or possibly exit the business altogether.

Source: Agriculture Online

5m Editor