Manure Application More Economically Appealing

CANADA - The escalating costs of commercial fertilizers are making the application of livestock manure more economically attractive.
calendar icon 15 May 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The cost of most of the main commercial fertilizers have shot up this spring.

Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative executive director Brandy Street expects producers to begin looking at alternatives as commercial fertilizer prices continue to rise.

Brandy Street-Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative

For the livestock producer or the mixed farmer manure is a by-product of livestock production so the cost of sourcing manure is zero but for the crop producer the cost of sourcing manure will depend on how far away the manure is and if it is free or if it comes at a cost.

In areas where the land base is very limited manure has been free but it may soon come at a cost if the price of commercial fertilizer continues to rise.

The most distinguishing differences between commercial fertilizer and manure costs is the cost of transportation and application.

Because manure is mostly water and it can be upwards of 90 percent in some cases, application will cost around one or two cents per gallon and that quickly adds up.

It can be 50 to 100 dollars per acre if you're applying 5000 gallons.

Commercial fertilizer can be applied at seeding meaning there are less passes over the land so you're saving money on fuel.

Some producers still choose to have commercial fertilizer applied after seeding and that will typically run them about six or seven dollars per acre.

Because commercial fertilizer prices have gone up significantly people are starting to put more value on manure and, if the demand for manure goes up, then you may see a greater chance of getting dollars back for manure by selling it.

Street indicates the most cost effective is for the mixed farmer to use manure to fertilize his own crops, but it's an advantage to the livestock producer to supply the crop farmer to manage the manure sustainable and to the crop farmer because he doesn't have to purchase commercial fertilizer.

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