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Manure is becoming a hot commodity for farmers

Limited availability and rising prices of commercial fertilizer have many farmers choosing manure to provide nutrients for their crops.

Abe Sandquist with Natural Fertilizer Services says a lot of it is because of the shortage. “But the other part is people are realizing it has a ton of value,” he says.  “Way more value than the fertilizer that we’re buying from Ukraine.  It’s just that we’ve never been able to leverage it and use it properly.”

He tells Brownfield using manure makes sense financially for farmers who have access to it.  “Fertilizer has more than doubled,” he says.  “The manure – labor is getting higher, fuel is getting higher, all of our cost of equipment is getting higher and we can still, pay the feedlot more money for the manure and it get it applied to someone’s field locally and it’s probably still going to be cheaper than commercial.”

Because of the logistical challenges of transporting manure, he says it isn’t an economically viable option if it has to be transported more than 30 miles.

Sandquist says the increasing demand for manure as fertilizer also provides additional revenue for livestock producers.  “They are starting to ask something out of it and they are actually getting decent money for it,” he says.  “And it’s selling because of the lack of availability of fertilizer.”

Sandquist says manure is heavily regulated by state and federal authorities, to ensure it doesn’t contaminate nearby streams, lakes, and groundwater, and working with a nutrient management specialist can help farmers better navigate those regulations.

AUDIO: Abe Sandquist, Natural Fertilizer Services

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