Return on Investment: Optimizing Manure as a Nutrient Source

It's Time to Reevaluate Manure's Value

As a pork producer, you understand the value that manure provides for both soil and crop health. It provides nutrients and organic matter while promoting biological activity in the soil. What you may not realize, however, is that same manure is worth a lot more today economically. Because of dramatic changes to commercial fertilizer prices, supply-chain disruptions and more, it's time to reevaluate how swine manure can offer even more value over more acres. Using manure strategically this fall can help decrease overall commercial fertilizer costs.


Commercial Fertilizer Price Comparison

According to a comparison of USDA data in Illinois from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021, fertilizer prices have increased.*

In order to increase the use of manure value on your farm:


Short Term

  • Utilize updated manure analysis to assess nutrient content
  • Apply manure at lower rate to reach additional acres to spread benefit and decrease commercial fertilizer needs
  • If additional manure is available, spread it across more acres
  • Inject or incorporate manure into the soil to reduce nitrogen losses


Long Term

  • Complete soil tests to evaluate nutrient baseline
  • Consider seeding cover crop to retain more nutrients from manure

For more information about the environmental benefit of manure, see Looking at Manure as a Resource.

* USDA AMS IL Production Cost Reports from Oct 8, 2020 and Oct 7, 2021
** MWPS-18-Manure Characteristics