The smell of money

While there has been almost no field work done in Southern Minnesota this spring, in my travels the past few weeks, I’ve seen corn planted in Illinois and today as far north as Humboldt, Iowa. Along with corn planting, many producers are also trying to squeeze in some manure hauling and land application of this product.

In the past week I received a number of laboratory analysis of manure samples from finishing facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Minnesota. Samples were from last fall or this spring. The average composition of the manure in pounds per 1000 gal of manure was 60 pounds of nitrogen, 30 pounds of phosphate (P2O5), 35 pounds of potash (K2O), 7 pounds of sulfur and 1 pound of zinc.

At the same time, I’ve seen prices quoted for commercial fertilizer in the range of $800/ton for anhydrous ammonia (82% N), $600/ton for phosphate and $800/ton for potash. Applying these values to the above manure analysis, the manure is worth $42.80/1000 gallons as it is removed from the pit.

If it costs $0.015/gal to remove and land apply (knifed in), the net value at time of application if there is no nitrogen loss due to volatilization is $27.80/1000 gallons.

For a wean to finish barn, you get about 340 gallons of manure per pig space per year or a net value at time of land application of $9.25 per pig space. For a 1250 head facility, this is $11,560.

For a grow finish barn, the manure production is closer to 370 gal/space/year with a net value of $10.15 per pig space and $12,688 per 1250 head facility.

When applied at 180 pounds of nitrogen per acre (3,000 gallons per acre), this becomes 8.2 pig spaces per acre from a grow-finish barn with a total land need of 150 acres.

Hog manure indeed has the smell of money when you do the math.

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