Certified Manure Applicators Learn to Value Their Manure Resource

Kris Kohl, Agriculture Engineering Field Specialist, Northwest

Problem Statement:

Livestock producers often need to work with their crop producing neighbors to apply manure in a way that is equitable to both parties.  Because agitating a pit can release large burst of hydrogen sulfide which is dangerous to livestock and people, this program was developed to educated and prevent problems associated with H2S. 

Programmatic Response:

Iowa State University developed a 2 hour education program to help producers calculate the value of manure compared to commercial fertilizer. The program reported on current manure research and presented information on protecting the environment.  Because of the higher cost of refining and transporting commercial fertilizer livestock producers are afforded greater opportunities to collect income for their manure application.  Testing manure allows producers to apply manure to maximize crop production while minimizing any adverse environmental impacts. 

The second part of the program with the hazards associated with agitating liquid pits to prevent livestock or human beings from being harmed by hydrogen sulfide release.


Farmers and producers of manure attended 20 workshops in Northwest Iowa with a total of 453 returning evaluation on our educational meeting

·       166 producers (36%) Plan to sell some of their manure to the neighbors and 237 of them (65%) plan to haul their manure greater distances to get the most value out of the manure on fields that need the nutrients preventing over applications and protecting the environment.

·       367 producers (81%) plan to develop a safety program to protect the workers and livestock form gas released during the agitation of their liquid manure with only four percent reporting that they don’t plan to implement a plan.

·       408 producers (90%) thought that the information was useful to their farm operation and 96% believed that the presenters were prepared and knowledgeable on the subjects presented.

·       196 producers implemented a plan for their mortality management due to last year’s program on composting.

This program continues to meet the needs of our confinement manure applicators.  These producers continue to work hard to protect the environment and utilize the nutrient resources they have.  This helps them out financially and protects the environment.


160 - Natural Resources & Stewardship

Page last updated: April 6, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu