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Value of Livestock Manure Fertilizer Underscored

by 5m Editor
20 February 2013, at 8:27am

CANADA - The executive director of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative says the rising price of commercial fertilizer has highlighted the economic value that can be extracted from the use of livestock manure fertilizer, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative is a non-profit agency formed in 1998 and its mandate is to coordinate efforts to understand issues related to manure management and to promote manure management practices that are beneficial, affordable and sustainable.

MLMMI executive director John Carney says recent increases in the price of commercial fertilizer have underscored the fact that there's a lot of economic value that can be extracted from livestock manure.

John Carney-Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative

Producers have always been concerned and aware of how to manage the manure on their farms.

When I think of what's changed I think of the price of fertilizer and of course it's really escalated in recent years.

You can substitute the nutrients in manure for commercial fertilizer so the economic value of those nutrients in manure is really directly related to fluctuations in commercial fertilizer prices and so since they're changing all the time that relationship does change as well but certainly over the last number of years I think there's been significant increases in the price of commercial fertilizer.

What that means is if you're growing a crop and you have access to manure that you can use as opposed to buying commercial fertilizer, provided that the nutrients are in balance to what your field and your crop needs, there's an economic case to be used for applying manure as opposed to buying commercial fertilizer.

Mr Carney observes around the world we're seeing more awareness of the importance of managing the nutrients in manure and he anticipates a greater emphasis extracting the nutrient value of manure in the future.