Increasing Fertilizer Costs Draw Attention to Value of Livestock Manure

CANADA - The chair of the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative says the rising cost of commercial fertilizer inputs is helping draw the attention of grain farmers to the value of the various crops nutrients contained in livestock manure, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 7 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Established in 1998, the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative is a federal provincial agency which provides financial assistance to individuals, institutions and companies to help cover the research involved in developing new products or initiatives that will eventually provide some benefit to the agricultural sector.

Over the years the initiative has funded several projects related to managing manure including a recently approved project which examines diet as a means of balancing nitrogen and phosphorus in swine manure.

ARDI Chair David Gislason notes the whole area of nutrient management has been of considerable interest to the ARDI council since its inception and, during its history ARDI has dedicated something in the area of two million dollars to research in various areas of nutrient management.

David Gislason-Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative

It's always been recognized by farmers as a valuable resource and I think that's becoming recognized more so now as the cost of these nutrients is increasing.

The cost of nitrogen, for example, has gone up at least three fold over a short period of time.

The cost of phosphorus is also going up so, as the fertilizer ingredients become more costly, then it's just natural that the manure itself becomes seen as a much more valuable commodity and, if we can get the ratio properly balanced between nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure, then it will have that much more added value.

Gislason says, as farmers, no one is very happy to see the cost of these nutrients going up.

However, he says, it certainly does turn our attention of the value of the nutrients contained in livestock manure.

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