Manure Manager

News Research
Manure survey: Waste or valuable agricultural resource?

November 19, 2019  by Manure Manager

Stories about manure often illustrate two opposing sentiments. Is manure a “waste” that pollutes our water resources and creates undesirable nuisances for communities? Or, is manure a “resource” that reduces the demand for importing greenhouse gas intensive inorganic fertilizers and improves the health of our soils?

A team of university educators and agricultural organizations have released a survey hoping to better understand the factors that impact manure use on cropland.

Both statements about manure contain some truth. However, the balance of the truth lies in the management choices made during the storage and utilization of animal manures. When using manure in cropping systems, “How can manure’s pros be maximized and cons minimized?”

“How can manure’s pros be maximized and cons minimized?”


Some questions the survey hopes to answer are: What issues are most important to you as you make decisions for the use of manure in cropping systems? Why do you choose manure over other fertilizers? Or commercial fertilizers instead of manure? Manure can create challenges; but which of these challenges are “deal breakers” preventing manure use on some fields? Which barriers and benefits drive your decisions about manure use in cropland?

The 15-minute survey is accessible online at and will close on Jan. 31, 2020.

Partners for the survey include members from across the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, USDA’s North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE) Program, and Manure Manager, as well as The Fertilizer Institute.


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