Manure Application
It seems that sales of manure macerators are up, as they can be used with different types of injectors and help address the higher flow rate of manure pumps in North America. And new designs have improvements significantly over old ones.
The sun has set on another edition of the North American Manure Expo, which was held in mid-August at the University of Wisconsin’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station near Arlington, Wisc.
September 5, 2017, Manawa, WI - Although manure provides valuable nutrients, especially nitrogen, to high N-requiring crops such as corn, proper application is key to keeping those nutrients in the soil while reducing soil erosion.

Methods of applying manure into the ground without significantly disturbing the soil were presented to area farmers at the recent summer field day sponsored by the Waupaca County Forage Council.

During the morning presentations, speakers noted that a large portion of nitrogen, about half in typical liquid dairy manure, is in ammonium or urea form and can potentially be lost to the air as ammonia if the manure is not incorporated into the soil promptly.

Historically, tillage has been the most common method of incorporation, but tillage and, to a lesser extent, standard injection reduce crop residue cover, leaving the field more susceptible to erosion.

A common goal among producers is to find new methods for applying liquid dairy manure to maximize manure N availability while maintaining crop residue cover for erosion control.One of the field-day presenters, Dan Brick, of Brickstead Dairy near Greenleaf in Brown County, has become an active conservation leader, who's committed to finding solutions that maintain environmental quality while improving soil fertility.

Through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP), Brick invested in an additional 2.9-million-gallon concrete manure structure to contain manure and milk house waste through the winter until it can be spread safely as fertilizer in the spring on his 900 acres of crop and hay ground. READ MORE
July 31, 2017, Waunakee, WI - A coalition of government, farmers, businesses and clean water advocates have come up with plan to help more farmers in southern Wisconsin apply liquid manure more effectively without disturbing the soil so other conservation practices can be protected.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the partnership July 13 at Carl F. Statz and Sons machinery dealer in Waunakee, another partner in the project.

The effort will make available a Low Disturbance Manure Injection (LDMI) toolbar – a way to apply liquid manure while cutting down on soil erosion, odors and the amount of phosphorus leaving their fields, Parisi said during a short ceremony.

"Our partnership reflects a unified effort between local leaders and businesses to ensure the Yahara Watershed stays clean and healthy while providing farmers with innovative tools they need to succeed in an environmentally friendly way," he said.

Dane County and the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network (Yahara WINS) will each allocate up to $60,000 to purchase a manure tanker and the toolbar. Yahara Pride Farms will rent a tractor from the Waunakee-based implement dealer to haul the tanker and LDMI toolbar on each participant's fields.

The county's share of the deal is contingent upon approval of the allocation by the county board.

Brian Peterson, with Field's, a Mt. Horeb-based manure handling business, said it makes sense to him to have a specific tractor dedicated to using the manure-injection equipment.

"That will give it uniformity from use to use," he said. "They wanted to have something that any farmer could use."

The unit which was at the press conference is one that is being used on a Waunakee area farm, Henson Brothers Dairy, and several other farmers in the watershed are using the technology. Field's will supply a new manure tanker, toolbar and unit once the deal is finalized.

The technology was shown to farmers at a Yahara Pride field day and it created a lot of interest, Peterson said. "Farmers like it because you can't see a lot of disturbance after it goes over the field – not like you'd see with a shovel-type injector."

The flow is based on a pump and PTO speed as well as tractor speed, he explained and the unit coming for Yahara Pride will have a flow meter which will indicate to the driver how many gallons are going on.

"This system, once it was showcased in this watershed, built interest further away than just right around here," Peterson said. "It has been building interest through the county and the region." READ MORE 
July 17, 2017, Madison, WI – Dane County is teaming up with local organizations, businesses and farmers to continue phosphorus reduction efforts in the Yahara Watershed, County Executive Joe Parisi announced recently.

The new public, private partnership will allow farmers to more effectively apply manure by injecting it directly into the ground, reducing the amount of nutrients that run off into local waterways.

“By using this equipment, farmers will be able to cut down on soil erosion, reduce odors, and decrease the amount of phosphorus leaving their fields,” said Parisi. “Our partnership reflects a unified effort between local leaders and businesses to ensure the Yahara Watershed stays clean and healthy, while providing farmers with the innovative tools they need to succeed in an environmentally friendly way.”

In the agreement, Dane County and the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network (Yahara WINS) will each allocate up to $60,000 to purchase a manure tanker and Low Disturbance Manure Injection (LDMI) toolbar. Yahara Pride Farms will rent a tractor from Carl F. Statz and Sons Inc., a farm implement dealer based in Waunakee, to haul the tanker and LDMI bar across each participant’s property. Yahara WINS is led by the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District and will use funds from the Clean Lakes Alliance to finance its share of the endeavor.

Yahara WINS is pleased to partner with the Yahara Pride Farm Group, Dane County and the Clean Lakes Alliance to provide opportunities for farmers to gain experience with low disturbance manure injection –an approach that will improve water quality by reducing the amount of phosphorus reaching our streams, rivers and lakes,” said Dave Taylor, consulting director for Yahara WINS.

Yahara Pride Farms is a farmer-led, nonprofit organization and was the first to bring this minimal soil disturbance technology for manure to Wisconsin farmers. To date, the program has covered over 3,600 acres of land and reduced 5,500 pounds of phosphorus on the Yahara Watershed using this manure technique. In 2016 alone, Yahara Pride Farms’ low disturbance manure injection resulted in an estimated 1,100 pounds of phosphorus savings from more than 1,200 acres of land.

“Farmers are leading progress toward collective water quality goals in the Yahara Watershed,” said Jeff Endres, chairman of Yahara Pride Farms. “Managing how nutrient-rich manure is applied to farm fields is a key component to achieving these goals.”

Last year, Dane County implemented and tracked more than 313 conservation practices and systems, resulting in 18,392 pounds of phosphorus being reduced in the Yahara Watershed. Under this new partnership, the manure injector is projected to reduce 1.5 pounds of phosphorus per acre of land each year.

Participants of the program will be charged a fee to cover operator costs, tractor rental, repair and maintenance, scheduling and insurance. To reduce participant expenses, Dane County developed a cost share program for individual farmers and custom haulers to purchase the LDMI toolbar. Currently, two cost share agreements totaling $46,495.50 have been approved to purchase the toolbar equipment.

The Yahara WINS executive committee approved the grant request to fund 50 percent of the costs for a tanker and LDMI toolbar with funds from the Clean Lakes Alliance in June. The Dane County board of supervisors is currently reviewing a resolution committing up to $60,000 in county dollars to match the committee’s funds.

Yahara Pride Farms will provide an annual report to the Dane County Land Conservation Division and Yahara WINS detailing treated field locations, number of acres covered, and pounds of phosphorus reduced. Previously, Yahara Pride Farms partnered with a local equipment dealer to provide a tanker and LDMI toolbar for individual farmers to use and gain experience with the technology.

July 5, 2017, Greenville, OH - With corn needing nitrogen, and pigs and cattle producing a lot of it, anything that offers a better way to use their waste to fortify crops should intrigue farmers.

Two agriculture experts at The Ohio State University have redesigned a metal tractor attachment so that it allows farmers to put manure on a field while crops are emerging.

Applying manure to growing crops, which is not widely done in Ohio or nationwide, can boost yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers and commercial manure applicators another window of time to unload their waste and enrich their crops.

Made by Bambauer Equipment in New Knoxville, Ohio, the metal toolbar, which is attached to a tractor, receives waste pumped through a hose from a livestock facility manure pit. The manure is fed through the toolbar, which injects the manure 3 to 5 inches into the soil between the rows of growing corn, then covers the manure with soil.

The manure sidedress toolbar attachment was built with contributions from the Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Goodfield, Illinois-based DSI Inc., a manufacturer of manure and nitrogen injection systems.

While draglining manure, a process that involves applying manure through a hose that pumps it directly from the livestock facility, is not new to many Ohio farmers, it is rarely used to apply manure on a growing crop.

"During the growing season, farmers have been concerned that running machinery over a field with an emerging crop could crush the crop and compact the soil, leaving less space among the soil particles for easy flow of water, air and nutrients," said Glen Arnold, a manure management specialist with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Arnold designed the modified toolbar with Sam Custer, an OSU Extension educator in Darke County.

Traditionally the manure of pigs and cattle, which is primarily liquid, is applied on the surface of fields in fall, after harvest. But without a growing crop on the field to take in the nutrients, much of the nitrogen either runs off the field or percolates through the soil uncaptured, Arnold said.

"A growing crop will reach out and grab much of that nitrogen," Arnold said. "It will love it."

In recent years, there has been increased interest in applying livestock manure on newly planted corn and soybean fields to foster their growth and provide another chance for farmers with pigs or cattle to use their accumulating animal waste.

For the past five years, Arnold has conducted research on methods of doing that. Initially, he used a tanker filled with liquid manure that was applied to young corn fields in several western Ohio counties. But the dragline and manure sidedress toolbar, compared to a tanker, weigh less and are faster and more efficient, Arnold pointed out. Also, the dragline and toolbar cause very few plants to be crushed to death.

For three years, the manure sidedress toolbar has been tested on fields in Darke County, which annually produces the second highest number of hogs across the state – and a whole lot of manure. The manure sidedressed fields produced 13 more bushels of corn per acre compared to fields where synthetic fertilizers were applied, Arnold said.

The savings in using manure instead of synthetic fertilizer are about $80 an acre, he said.

"There's always a cost to the livestock farmer to apply manure to farm fields. By capturing more of the nitrogen in the manure, the farmer can reduce the need to purchase commercial fertilizer and make a bigger profit," he said.

While the manure sidedress toolbar can also be used on fields of soybeans and wheat, corn needs the most nitrogen, Arnold said.

Some Ohio farmers are concerned that the dragline could kill some of the newly emerging plants, by crushing them as it is pulled through the field, Custer said.

But the research on the Darke County fields does not show that, Custer said. When corn is about 3 inches high, running a dragline hose across a field is not going to hurt the corn though it may initially appear to be bent over after the dragline goes across the field, Custer said.

"In a week's time, they'll be standing right back up," he said.

Ohio farmers interested in trying the manure sidedress toolbar can do so for free to see how it might work on their fields.

"We want to put it in more farmers' hands," Custer said. "We want to see more farmers using manure as a nutrient rather than seeing it as a waste product."

Anyone who wants to try the manure sidedress toolbar can contact Arnold at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 419-235-4724. Darke County farmers can contact Sam Custer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 937-548-5215.

For more information about the manure sidedress toolbar and to watch a video on it, see
In 2015, Manure Manager reported on the dribble bar, a method of applying liquid manure for dragline units that is very popular in Europe, with thousands of units sold there by its Germany-based manufacturer, Vogelsang, which has a U.S. office in Ravenna, Ohio.
May 1, 2017 – When is the best time to spread manure for optimal crop production and minimize environmental losses?

The simple answer is it depends on many factors. While not exactly a satisfying answer to a complex scenario, it truly depends on the manure handling system, cropping system, field conditions, weather forecasts, time and labor available, volume of manure in the pit and many more factors. What is the right decision when there are so many factors out of our control? The best answer is to know the risk factors during the time of manure application and minimize those risks while optimizing crop production with those additional manure nutrients.

To help solve this complex scenario, a new tool is available for Michigan livestock producers to use when making decisions on when and where to spread manure. The Michigan State University EnviroImpact Tool is part of the Michigan Manure Management Advisory System that was been developed through a partnership between National Weather Service/NOAA, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Water Research, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension. The MSU EnviroImpact Tool provides maps showing short-term runoff risks for daily manure application planning purposes; taking into account factors including precipitation, temperature, soil moisture and landscape characteristics. Anyone handling and applying livestock manure in Michigan can use this tool to determine how risky it will be spread manure on their fields.

Key features of this tool include:
  • Ability to sign up for e-mail or text message alerts specific to your field locations for high-risk runoff days.
  • Easy visualization of the short-term risk of manure runoff.
  • Ability to zoom in on the map to your field(s) and click on the location to determine the potential risk of runoff from manure application.
  • Capability to login to the tool to draw and save your fields on the map to determine risk of runoff at any time.
  • Automatic daily runoff risk forecast updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Access to additional resources on manure management.
While the purpose of these maps are to help reduce the risk of applied manure leaving the fields, it is very important to follow your farm's Manure Management Plan and to assess the risk for each field prior to manure applications. Always apply your own knowledge of your fields and landscapes when assessing the risk of runoff from manure applications. Remember this tool is just one of many in your own toolbox.

Additional Manure Application Considerations:

Risk increases with soil moisture. If you know that your fields are particularly wet, you should know that the risk of runoff from your fields would be higher than what is shown on the risk map. The opposite may hold true if you estimate that your soil moisture values are lower.

Even if the map shows low risk of runoff, your fields may not be dry enough to spread manure. Applying liquid manure (typically equivalent to 1/3 to 1 inch or more of rainfall) to wet fields could lead to a direct manure runoff, even if the field is otherwise a low risk site due to low slope, etc. Make sure your fields are dry enough to accept additional moisture. Additionally, operating field equipment on wet fields could lead to soil compaction.

Liquid manure applications increase soil moisture. An application of 27,000 gallons per acre of liquid manure is the equivalent of adding approximately 1 inch of water to your fields. A liquid manure application effectively increases your soil moisture, and therefore the risk of runoff from fields receiving liquid manure could be higher than what is shown on the risk map.

Snow-covered and frozen fields are high risk. If you have snow on your fields, the risk of runoff from your fields could be higher especially if spreading manure in the later winter months of February or March (due to snowmelt or rainfall).

Some fields are always higher risk areas. These are areas of concern on your farm, and might include fields with higher slopes, tighter soils (clay), poor drainage or close to sensitive areas such as surface waters, etc. Many of these areas should be identified in your Manure Management Plan and/or sensitive area maps. Use caution when applying manure in these areas, regardless of what the risk map indicates.

Livestock producers and manure applicators should contact their local Conservation District MAEAP technician for help in developing a Manure Management Plan that takes into account a manure-spreading plan, sensitive area field maps and alternatives to spreading if necessary. Another great resource for making manure application decisions is MDARD's Right to Farm Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) specific to Manure Management and Utilization.

The MSU EnviroImpact Tool is currently under development and will be available soon. Livestock producers, manure applicators and others are encouraged to preview the tool and provide feedback. If you interested in accessing the tool and providing feedback, please contact either Shelby Burlew, MSU Extension, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Jason Piwarski, MSU Institute of Water Research, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for access to the tool's website
April 20, 2017, Ithaca, NY – For many parts of New York State, not for the first time, March 2017 provided both deep snow and saturated wet conditions that presented significant manure related challenges, especially to daily spread and short term storage operations. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation recently issued a warning about risky manure spreading.

While the conditions are still fresh, every operation should take stock of manure storage options and look for ways to avoid application in these situations. Over the last few weeks, I have heard more comments than usual from farm and non-farm folks alike about seeing neighbors spreading manure on barely trafficable fields or even from the edge of the road.

If you find your operation in this situation, or if you strained to find fields that can hold up the tractor and spreader without getting stuck, runoff risk is likely to be high and application should be avoided whether you are a regulated farm or not. Spreading just before rain or snowmelt can be just as risky, even if a field can be driven on without getting stuck.

For stackable manure in the short term, temporary pile locations can be identified with the help of SWCD, NRCS, or private sector planners until better storage options can be installed.

New York State and federal cost share options are available annually; meet with your local SWCD and/or NRCS staff to start the process. The Dairy Acceleration Program can help with cost of engineering on farms under 700 cows.

Position your operation for the future: evaluate manure storage needs and implement solutions.

July 12, 2016, Columbus, OH – The North American Manure Expo is about to land in Ohio.

The big event, covering the serious business of using farm animal manure to help grow crops, while doing it safely and greenly, is August 3 and 4 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, about 25 miles west of Columbus.

March 13, 2015 – Depending on the needs of an operation, manure spreaders can be an integral part of a farm’s daily chore routine or a machine of heavy seasonal use. In either case, preventative regular maintenance can help avoid costly repairs and frustrating downtime.

Daily-used manure spreaders can show increased wear on specific components; this happens gradually and often goes unnoticed. Gradual wear can occur on apron chains, sprockets, bearings and rooster combs. Establishing a regular maintenance schedule helps detect increased wear and gives a producer an opportunity to adjust or repair these components before failure occurs. READ MORE

 A dribble bar could be used to apply manure in many situations, such as into a wheat crop at the same time that commercial nitrogen is applied, or before planting in canola, corn or soybeans. Photo contributed.

Spreading liquid manure has always been challenging for farmers. Spraying it on fields is smelly and not terribly consistent. This spreading method can also cause crop damage and excessive run-off. Now however, much improved spreading for liquid manure is now available to Ontario farmers, thanks to Alma-based Husky Farm Equipment. In cooperation with Germany-based Vogelsang, the company has introduced the dribble bar, along with its many benefits.

The dribble bar spreader originates in Europe, where there is widespread restriction of manure application outside the growing season. This spurred the development of new technology such as dribble bars. A dribble bar is just as it sounds – a bar-like system that dribbles manure at low pressure onto the ground below the plant leaves, allowing a greater amount to be applied with more accuracy, less runoff and less crop injury and less odour. “As application accuracy improves and environmental issues continue, combined with opportunities with GIS/GPS, there is more interest in dribble bar and other in-crop application technology,” notes Christine Brown, who has recently studied the dribble bar in her position as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) field crops program lead.

Vogelsang dribble bar technology for dragline units was demonstrated at the North American Manure Expo in 2012. In 2013, Walter and Sharon Grose (owners of Husky Farm Equipment) decided to investigate it further, traveling to Germany to meet with Vogelsang and tour its factory. “This tour assured the fact that the tanker-mounted units could work on Canadian tankers,” Walter Grose says. “These units are widely used in Europe because of legislation and Ontario is cultivating an interest to pre-empt any legislation.”

Benefits abound
Brown explains that the dribble bar (as well as other European equipment such as Veenhuis shallow injection technology) offers a tool bar with more rows, which allows for application at ground level in seven to 10-inch spacings with no splash.

“At 10-inch row spacing, there are about 60 dribble hoses on the toolbar which means that at 4,000 gallons per acre, there would be about 70 to 75 gallons/row/acre,” she explains. “Less volume per row means less risk of runoff, and when applied in forage or pasture – assuming soil conditions are fit – there would be faster infiltration.”

The dribble bar also offers greater nutrient application accuracy.

“The distribution system is fine-tuned, so that the amount from each row is more consistent than current splash plate technology,” Brown says. “This makes the manure application more like fertilizer (although there will still be some variation in manure nutrient concentration), but the nutrients are placed closer to where a growing crop can utilize them.”

Although injection into the soil would be even better, Brown notes that it take more time and more horsepower. She also states that if manure is applied to forages or to other growing crops, the system that works best is one that gets many acres covered in a day with less wheel track (similar to sprayer technology). She says a dribble bar could be used to apply manure in many situations, such as into a wheat crop at the same time that commercial nitrogen is applied, or before planting in canola, corn or soybeans. Brown says a dribble bar would also be effective in applying manure to ground with planted canola, corn (up to about the six leaf stage) or soybeans. She believes it would also be very suitable in edible beans before or just after planting, forage crops after harvest (with potentially up to three application opportunities) and in pastures (especially where rotational grazing has been established).

Lastly, Brown believes dribble bars would also work well after cereal harvest, where manure could be slurry-seeded with cover crops (or the cover crops could be established after application).

“Where large fields in corn/soy rotation have erosion concerns, grassed tram lines could be established for less compaction damage and more frequent in-crop application opportunities,” she adds. “For custom applicators, technology that allows manure application to occur during the growing season will allow more days for application in a year and will help to reduce the stress associated with full manure storage when the weather doesn’t cooperate, such as late harvest or wet conditions or early winter conditions.”

Having the manure dribbled at low pressure into the soil a little at a time (and not sprayed in the air) obviously means substantially lower odor levels, but this has not been studied in Ontario at this point. However, Grose notes Vogelsang has done extensive research on how
the dribble bar reduces odor, as well as how it boosts crop yield with its improved placement of nutrients and application timing.

The way the dribble bar prevents manure from touching the plant canopy also means reduced crop burn and ammonia loss.

“We have done ammonia loss studies in forages with dosimeter tubes that consistently show the ammonia loss is highest where the application rate is high (where manure puddles) and takes longer to infiltrate [which is something that tend not to happen with a dribble bar],” Brown explains. “There still could be ammonia burn [with a dribble bar] if the manure applied is a concentrated liquid poultry or hog manure applied at a high rate. But generally this type of manure is not recommended for forage crops that would be the most susceptible to ammonia burn.”

She adds that salt/ammonia injury could be an issue with slurry-seeded cover crops, especially when planted into dry soils.

Attachment and use
The Vogelsang dribble bar can be mounted on any manure spreader, notes Grose, although small modifications may be needed. The amount of modification needed for spreaders over 10 years old would not be cost-effective. In terms of speed, Grose confirms the Vogelsang dribble bar is faster than an injector unit.

“Most injectors are 12 feet wide to fit road width and must travel many times up and down the field,” he explains. “The dribble bar is much wider and can cover more ground.”

The time it takes to fold out the boom might be 20 seconds out and 30 seconds in, and Grose adds the dribble bar does not allow any manure to dribble on the road as it tips up for road travel.

During application, the Vogelsang dribble bar uses a rotary distributor to pulse distribute the manure across the width of the unit.

“When a triangle field is encountered, one side can be shut off or retracted to transport position to eliminate double coverage,” Grose says. “When an area in the field is encountered that has enough nitrogen, the booms can be turned on or off for precision coverage. Each nozzle gets the same amount of coverage whether one side is turned on or off.”

Husky Farm Equipment Limited and Farm and Food Care will be using a tanker with a 50-foot Vogelsang dribble all over Ontario.

“It will have demo days and farm show exposure,” Grose says. “The highlight of the year will be the demonstration at the North American Manure Expo in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in July 2015.”

In terms of studies, Brown is hopeful she may be able to initiate some, but that depends on time and funding opportunities.”

See the dribble bar applicator in action here:





August 15, 2014, Kimberly, ID – Applying 50 tons of manure per acre for one year is a heavy application, repeating that rate for eight years is a lot of manure — and a lot of nitrogen.

Amber Moore, University of Idaho extension soils specialist, has calculated that some plots in a long-term manure application study have already received 2,746 pounds of nitrogen in the last two years alone.

She expected to see nutrient leaching from the top foot of soil as plants were unable to utilize that much nitrogen. So far, that hasn’t been an issue, at least, not in potatoes. READ MORE

August 5, 2014, Redwood Falls, MN – A southwest Minnesota cooperative has found good manufacturing success through building products that meet their own stringent criteria.

Artex Manufacturing builds manure spreaders, silage trailers, truck-mounted boxes and rendering trailers that are designed for strength, durability and ease of use. The facility recently held tours during the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association summer tour. READ MORE

The need to be able to estimate the value of manure as crop nutrient source is the result of increased use of manure to replace crop nutrients that have long been supplied by commercial inorganic fertilizers.

“As with inorganic fertilizers, the goal is to meet the crop nutrient needs while avoiding the expense and potential environmental concerns of over-application of nutrients,” said Dharmendra Saraswat, associate professor and extension engineer for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

To answer this need, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture has released the Manure Valuator app to help producers calculate the dollar and nutritive value of manure applied to a specific field and then share the results via e-mail. The app is now available for use on both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.

The app was developed by Saraswat, in collaboration with Karl VanDevender, a professor and extension engineer, both in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

The app is based on a simple premise that the monetary value of manure is linked to the market value of the inorganic nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilizer that the manure is replacing. This means the value of manure depends largely on the crop N, P, K fertilizer recommendation, the manure N,P,K content, and the amount applied.

The app allows the user to enter the cost of his or her local commercial fertilizer source on either a dollar per ton or a dollar per pound basis. If dollar per ton values are entered, the app converts them to dollars per pound of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

The user then enters the crop’s N, K, and P needs, ideally based on  recent soil test recommendations available though the county Cooperative Extension Office.

The user then selects one of 18 different choices of dry and liquid manure. If desired, the default N, P, K values can be modified to better reflect the manure to be applied.

After the desired manure application rate is entered, the app calculates the N, P, K fertilizer replacement value for the

specific field crop based on N, P, K recommendation, manure source, and manure application rate. At this time, any input value can be modified to evaluate the impact on the resulting calculated values.

Users of the Manure Valuator app have quick access to several useful features:

  • a bulk cost calculator to determine cost per pound of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from inorganic fertilizers
  • a database consisting of nutritive value of 18 different sources of manure that allows users to enter custom values for dry and wet manures
  • a dictionary page that has been provided to explain each step used in the app

Funding for the app was provided by the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Board and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

The Manure Valuator app is available for free at iTunes (see and Google Play Store (see

Users can also install the app on their mobile device by scanning the code found in the news archives at

For more details about crop production, contact your county extension office or visit

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