Perceptions of barriers and benefits of manure use in cropping systems

Richard Koelsch, Daniel Andersen, Erin Cortus, Leslie Johnson, Amy M. Schmidt, Siok Ann Siek, Melissa Wilson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Animal agriculture is tasked with recycling the nitrogen and phosphorus in manures in an environmentally sound manner, typically as a soil fertility amendment. The increasing complexity of animal agriculture and its feed supply has resulted in significant specialization of businesses often separating production of animals from feed grains and forage production. The recycling of manure nutrients often requires voluntary transfer of manures to crop farms with little or no history of manure in a fertility program. The ability of manure to compete with commercially available fertilizers is essential for this transfer to be considered by crop farmers. A project team engaged in a needs assessment of farmers' and their advisors' perceptions of the benefits of manure use in cropping systems as well as the challenges that could create barriers for such transfers. We learned from those surveyed there exists a strong recognition of manure's fertility, yield, and soil health benefits. However, soil health benefits of manure may be less well understood by farmers compared with fertility benefits. Manure's water quality benefits through soil aggregation and less mobile nutrient forms are not perceived to exist or understood sufficiently for communicating to others. Finally, many challenges associated with manure frequently become barriers to manure use. The group identified four challenges most likely to prevent manure recycling including 1) transportation costs, 2) odor, 3) logistical barriers, and 4) agronomic concerns that will need to be addressed to encourage an expanded role of manure in more cropland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 13 2020Jul 15 2020


Conference2020 ASABE Annual International Meeting
CityVirtual, Online


  • Animal manure
  • Crop production
  • Farmer perceptions
  • Manure barriers
  • Manure benefits
  • Manure use survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Bioengineering


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