Manure Manager

News Environment Protection Protection
From the Editor: Doing the right thing

March 25, 2024  by  Bree Rody

When I’m not assembling the pages of Manure Manager, I’m heading up content for another agriculture publication, Drainage Contractor. Drainage publishes two print issues per year and has been reaching contractors across North America for more than 50 years. Last week, as part of my Drainage duties, I attended the Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) Annual Convention in Virginia Beach, VA – where I found myself talking about manure (both manure itself and Manure the magazine) quite a bit.

I’ve been asked by many people if it’s difficult editing two magazines with seemingly little crossover. While I’ve never gotten to run a story in both magazines, the one subject that always brings the two together is soil and water quality. Nutrient leaching in waterways leads both the land application of manure, and subsurface drainage to be under intense scrutiny.

But what also serves to unite the two publications more than anything is the sense of being misunderstood by the public. The noble concern of environmentalists can often manifest in the “blame game,” and can unfairly characterize farmers – and manure applicators, drainage contractors – as indifferent to our climate, when that’s far from the truth. That’s why so many manure applicators have shown interest in improving their nutrient stewardship over the years.

The fact is, farmers who apply manure responsibly, follow all guidelines about where and how to store their manure and contribute positively to their environments don’t make mainstream headlines. Aside from industry publications (like us!) manure is often written about in a sensationalist manner, which means the squeaky wheels get the grease.


But people don’t do the right thing just to be seen doing the right thing. They do the right thing because we only have one planet. Healthy soil and water means better growing seasons, higher profit margins and an easier pathway to feeding our growing world.

Still, it’s important to highlight the positives where we can – and I’m pretty sure no one can do that job quite like an industry magazine. In this issue, we highlight ground-breaking research on removing ammonia from manure (page 9), and look at how increasingly popular seaweed additives (which are thought to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from cows) affect the manure being excreted by those cows (page 24). In the spirit of spreading the word about manure, we also talk to a panel of experts on page 14 to discuss how we can get more manure on farm fields in 2024.

We also have guest columns from Minnesota, Michigan and New York State, an update on the latest tech overseas and much, much more.

Manure Manager knows that applicators and farmers across the continent already see themselves as stewards of the land – and we work to enhance and celebrate that through all of our print and digital content. •


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