Dustin Ransom, a custom manure applicator from Darien, Wisconsin, says the higher demand, combined with tougher environmental regulations, has them covering a lot more acres these days.
“With bigger farms becoming more and more numerous—and with the application rates being cut down—we’re having to cover more area, which is creating more work for us,” Ransom says, “and it’s actually spreading those nutrients out more, and decreasing our dependency on the commercial fertilizer—as much as we were.”
So while the demand for manure is growing, University of Nebraska Extension Engineer Chris Henry says a lot of old “manure stereotypes” still exist.
“You will hear producers who use manure say that a manure fertilizer program almost always outperforms a commercial fertilizer program,” says Henry, “and getting over some of the stereotypes—for example, there’s weed seeds in manure—and other misconceptions about manure. And that really restrains people from using it as much.”
Ransom and Henry made their comments at the recent North American Manure Expo in Norfolk, Nebraska.