In the past year, as nearly every input cost – especially fertilizers — have more than doubled in cost, Iowa State University Association Professor Daniel Andersen says manure could be a viable alternative amidst the volatile market. While manure is a complete fertilizer, he says its not always a balanced fertilizer. However, if growers know their soil composition and what nutrients they’re lacking, they can shop the manure market for the right type. A low-phosphorus field with a phosphorus-intensive crop would benefit from nitrogen-rich poultry manure. Liquid manure can be cost competitive, even when transported 1 to 5 miles, according to Andersen.

Use of poultry manure on fields has increased in popularity, and farmers report an increase in micronutrients and overall soil health from the switch.

Hear from a farmer who has tried this technique.