With fertilizer prices as volatile as ever, more farmers are realizing the value of manure.
Clark County UW-Extension agent Richard Halopka recently put the pencil to paper to determine how much manure is worth as a fertilizer. He found the nutrients in a ton of solid manure are worth around $11, while 1,000 gallons of liquid manure is worth about $23. The average cow produces just under $300 worth of manure per year.
Halopka remembers that when he was a kid, they'd just race to the nearest field to get rid of the stuff. Now, he says farmers should utilize nutrient management practices to reduce fertilizer input costs.
Can crops survive on manure alone? Halopka says certain ones can, if the soil has a high enough level of nutrients.
Halopka says producers would be more apt to purchase manure like a commodity if it weren't for transportation costs. He says some large-scale producers have even constructed miles of manure pipeline to get the nutrients to fields.