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?
- 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.
- Manure is an economical substitute for commercial fertilizers.
- 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.
- Despite the reduced availability of manure N, crop yield increases normally occur with manure application.
- 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.