Manure is on our Balance Sheet
Okay, manure is probably not on the top of everyone’s mind. I mean who wants to talk about poop? Most people think of manure as waste–something that stinks and just needs to go away.
But not farmers.
In fact, on our farm, we value manure. We value it so much that we put it on our balance sheet. Yes, you heard that right. It is that valuable. I remember the first time I entered it on our balance sheet, it felt kind of weird. I mean, who puts poop on their balance sheet? But the more I thought about and after talking with business management consultants, it made perfect sense. Poop has value.
When Manure is Applied
We apply manure to our crop fields immediately following harvest. It will be used as a soil nutrient replacement for next year’s corn crop. If we didn’t have manure, we would be purchasing and applying commercial fertilizer from a local coop. It’s free except for the cost of applying it.
Manure is Sustainable
When you really think about it, applying and using manure is sustainable. It’s the perfect recycling program. Take a look:
Feed hogs corn → apply hog manure to next year’s corn field →
grow corn → feed hogs corn
By utilizing manure, farmers save money and in our opinion, manure is a superior soil nutrient. We would much rather use hog manure than commercial fertilizers–our crops just seem to grow better. It also adds organic material to the soil and helps with soil erosion.
Process of Manure Application
The actual process of applying manure is quite detailed. Soil and manure samples are taken and analyzed by a local laboratory. Comparing the results of the two samples, a recommendation to the amount of manure we should apply per acre is determined. We adjust our flow meter on the manure spreader to reflect the recommendation. This is all part of our manure management plan, which is required of livestock farmers.
Our manure spreader is able inject the manure into our soils–it does not lie on top of the soils. By injecting, nitrogen loss is minimized and it also helps with odor control. Watch how we apply our manure on our farm.
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