| April 13, 2009
A Penton Media, Inc Publication
When both fuel and fertilizer prices started moving upward, many
crop and livestock producers became more interested in manure bartering.
Kevin Erb, an economist with the University of Wisconsin Extension
Environmental Resources Center, says manure bartering helps more evenly
distribute manure nutrients to fields with lower fertility that might be
located farther from a livestock facility. “Higher fertilizer prices
make bartering more feasible,” he relates. The trend toward livestock
producers networking with crop producers to barter manure has led states
like Michigan and Illinois to create an online list of manure producers
seeking to provide manure, as well as cash grain farmers who are looking
for the crop nutrients manure has to offer. Illinois co-ops are also
serving as brokers for manure exchange.
Erb says Wisconsin producers tend to exchange manure for cash, feed, or
services, or may do a “Dutch treat” type of bartering. The Dutch
treat system may be used when one or both farmers have land closer to
another farm’s manure source. Erb says this situation commonly occurs
when both producers have owned or rented land across a busy road or next
to the neighbor’s barn. Each producer may agree to haul a set amount
of manure to the other’s property, which is actually located closer,
thus saving time and wear and tear on equipment. Both producers are able
to benefit from manure’s nutrients.
Erb cited an example where two farmers were able to save two miles each
way by using the Dutch treat bartering system. They were applying three
loads per acre on a 20-acre field, thus saving 240 total miles and 10
hours of labor for each farmer. “The corn field was planted one day
earlier as a result,” he adds.
A manure-for-feed barter system occurs when a cash grain producer agrees
to accept a certain amount of manure from the livestock producer as part
of a contract to produce feed. The rates, time of application and field
selection are all spelled out in the contract.
With manure-for-cash barters, the livestock producer provides the manure
for a set price per ton or per thousand gallons. The price is usually
determined by the nitrogen content of the manure, and is more common
with poultry and swine farms than with dairies.
Erb says the manure-for-services trade involves the manure recipient
providing a set amount of services, such as hoof trimming, feed hauling,
or tillage, in exchange for the manure. “One benefit of this type of
exchange is that, if the dairyman can contract with a dependable
neighbor with the right equipment, the dairy can avoid investing in that
tool,” Erb explains. Any manure exchange or barter can have income tax
implications, and should be double-checked with an accountant or tax
A written contract is essential with any type of manure exchange. Erb
encourages producers to have the contract reviewed by both farms’
attorneys. Key factors pertaining to environmental responsibility,
manure sampling, application guidelines, recordkeeping responsibility,
tax implications and contingency plans if it is too wet to apply, are
among the details that should be included in the contract. Because of
potential income tax implications, contract language should be approved
by an accountant or attorney.
Erb suggests successful manure exchanges usually start by involving both
farms’ nutrient management plan writer or crop consultants. “Their
knowledge of manure rates, soil conditions and other factors will make
them a key player in any successful agreement,” he concludes.
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When it comes to figuring out the cost of hauling manure, distance
and time are key, says Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin Extension
Environmental Resources Center. The number of stop signs can make a
significant difference to the bottom line. “If a commercial applicator
is hired, most haulers charge by the hour and the farmer provides the
fuel,” Erb states. Each stop sign can add four minutes to the round
trip hauling time, if the road speed is 55 mph with a truck. Three stop
signs or 90-degree turns can reduce efficiency by as much as one trip
per hour, he adds.
Illinois Manure Share is a free program that helps livestock owners
link up with gardeners or landscapers who are looking for manure. The
manure exchange program is designed to help gardeners and landscapers
find organic materials for use in composting or field applications. The
program’s goal is to remove the manure from farms that do not have the
acreage to adequately utilize the manure nutrients. The Web site
includes links to federal and state rules and regulations affecting the
manure sharing process. Learn more details about composting manure at www.sweeta.illinois.edu/composting.cfm.
University of Illinois Extension Manure Share program details and links
can be found online at www.manureshare.illinois.edu/.
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USDA’s recent Prospective Plantings Report indicates U.S. farmers
intend to plant 76 million acres of soybeans, compared to 79.2 million
acres estimated by analysts. Soybean seedings are still up 300,000 acres
from last year. Delta Farm Press quoted AgResource Co analyst Dan
Basse who said, “The difference between expectation and reality is the
biggest myth I can find in soybean seedings over the last 20 years.”
USDA says farmers also intend to plant 84.99 million acres of corn,
compared to 84.41 million acres estimated by analysts, and 58.63 acres
of wheat, compared to analysts’ projections of 58.6 million acres.
Another surprise in the March 31 USDA report was the decrease of about 8
million acres in total U.S. crop acres.
Science Daily reports that researchers in China have
discovered chicken manure can be used to biodegrade crude oil in
contaminated soil. Writing in the International Journal of
Environment and Pollution, the team explains how bacteria in chicken
manure break down 50% more crude oil than soil lacking the manure.
Contamination of soil by crude oil occurs around the world because of
equipment failure, natural disasters, deliberate acts, and human error.
However, conventional approaches to clean-up come with additional
environmental costs. Detergents, for instance, become pollutants
themselves and can persist in the environment long after any remediation
exercise is complete.
Bioremediation is a more environmentally benign approach which uses
natural or engineered microbes that can metabolize the organic
components of crude oil. Stimulating such microbial degradation in
contaminated soil often involves the use of expensive fertilizers
containing nitrogen and phosphorus, and, again, may come with an
additional environmental price tag despite the “bio” label. Soil
hardening and a loss of soil quality often accompany this approach.
The research team of Bello Yakubu, Huiwen Ma, and ChuYu Zhang of Wuhan
University, China, suggest that animal waste, and in particular chicken
manure, may provide the necessary chemical and microbial initiators to
trigger biodegradation of crude oil if applied to contaminated soil. One
important factor is that chicken manure raises the pH of soil to the
range 6.3 to 7.4, which is optimal for the growth of known oil-utilizing
In tests, the team added chicken manure to soil contaminated with 10%
volume-to-weight of crude oil to soil. They found that the almost 75% of
the oil was broken down in soil with the fowl additive after about two
Learn more at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303102729.htm.
Source: Science Daily/University of Toronto.
The state of Iowa made national headlines recently when news spread
about a legislative earmark providing federal funding for the study of
swine odor. The earmark provided the funding to USDA’s Agriculture
Research Service in Ames. While defending the necessity of the odor
research project, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says there are very good
reasons why that funding item should remain.
The Iowa Pork
Industry Center provides additional details about an article on the
Scientific American Web site in which Harkin outlines how the
earmark came about. Harkin says former President Bush’s budget
proposed to terminate a number of agricultural research projects in
order to come in at a lower budget number, with the former president
allegedly figuring that this needed research was likely to be restored
by Congress. Jacek Koziel, Iowa State University agricultural and
biosystems engineering associate professor, is quoted in the
Scientific American article explaining why it’s a good idea to
study pig odor. Information from Harkin and an edited transcript of
Koziel’s interview are on the Scientific American Web site at
Source: Iowa Pork Industry Center.
The Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan
recently announced that a low-phytate, hulless barley variety called
CDC Lophy-I is now available as a publically released variety in Canada.
Seed growers with pedigreed seed are free to multiply and market the
Brian Rossnagel, an oat and barley plant breeder from the CDC says the
new barley makes phosphorus more available to animals, particularly
hogs, thus reducing the amount of undigested phosphorus excreted in
manure. “We saw this as an opportunity to provide hog producers right
across the country with a good variety that would help. It won’t solve
the whole problem if there is one, but it will help in making sure
there’s as little phosphorus going out in the effluent as possible,”
he says. Rossnagel explains that the barley also can help make minerals
such as calcium and iron more available to hogs. Phytate in barley and
other cereal grains tends to tie up calcium and iron, thus making them
less available to the animals. Rossnagel is encouraging Canadian pork
producers to let seed growers and suppliers know if they are interested
in obtaining the low-phytate barley so sufficient seed supplies can be
produced to meet demand.
Read more about manure management in Canada at the Manitoba Livestock
Manure Management Initiative Web site at www.manure.mb.ca/new-developments.php.
The 2009 Upper Midwest Manure Handling Expo will be held at the
Central Iowa Expo Center in Boone, IA on July 22, 2009. The theme for
the meeting is “SET for Fall: Safety, Efficiency, and Technology.”
Visitors and vendors will have a chance to interact and discuss manure
handling equipment, products and services. The Expo will also offer
Learn more at www.ag.iastate.edu/wastemgmt/expo_home.htm.
For additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
eHay Weekly is a weekly compilation of prices and marketing
information for commercial hay growers. Updates include local market
conditions, state and regional hay association news, hay prices from
around the nation, and links to USDA weekly hay reports. eHay Weekly is
brought to you from the editors of Hay & Forage Grower.
The 2009 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be held July 21-23,
2009 at the Crave Brothers Farm, Waterloo, WI. The state-of-the-art
dairy uses an automated manure digestion system to collect biogas from
manure in order to generate electricity while reducing odors. The
agricultural show will feature farm tours of Crave Brothers Farm,
including a tour of their cheese factory. Field demonstrations will
highlight manure handling and transport equipment, in addition to the
latest in mowing, raking, harvesting and baling equipment. More than 600
commercial exhibitors will display products and services.
The show is presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Technology
Days, Inc. and University of Wisconsin Extension. Learn more online at
NHF Weekly Preview provides pork
producers in the United States and Canada with weekly analysis of items
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you from the editors of National Hog Farmer.
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Dale Miller, Editor,
National Hog Farmer
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