Feb 07, 2012  |  Today's News

If you’ve been farming for long, you certainly remember a time when hog manure seemed a nuisance.  Livestock farmers might pay you a little something to spread it on your ground just to have a place to dispose of it.  But, times have changed and so have our attitudes about manure.

While fertilizer prices keep a steady climb, grain farmers are looking to manure as having an important role in agricultural production.  The manure certainly has a value to the soil and the crops we raise, and the price presents an opportunity over manufactured fertilizers.

Why should you trust hog manure?

  1. Manures provide positive short- and long-term benefits to the soil.  These changes are derived from physical, chemical and biological responses to manure.  Organic materials contained within manure increase the plant availability of nitrate-N and P; increase the CEC; increase soil organic matter; decrease the C:N ratio and increase infiltration rate and soil water-holding capacity through changed in soil organic matter.  The absolute degree of change varies among soils, but these trends are evident in nearly all studies presented.
  2. Manure is an economical substitute for commercial fertilizers.
  3. Manure may restore eroded soils to higher levels of productivity.  In fact, a 1993 study showed that the value of manure as a soil restoration material for eroded soils was sufficiently greater than in application on non-eroded soil.
  4. Despite the reduced availability of manure N, crop yield increases normally occur with manure application.
  5. There is ample documentation that shows manure can increase the quality of the soil, enhance and stabilize crop production and be managed without imposing an environmental risk.