A Drake University Agricultural Law Center survey finds one of the byproducts of hog production that’s created the most complaints has become more valuable for farmers due to economic factors. Law center researcher Matt Russell says hog manure has become a commodity being sought for fertilizer.
Russell says one of the reasons for the increase in the importance in manure is that the cost of commercial fertilizer went through the roof, and that made it a better value to use hog manure. He says with farmers looking to maximize their crop yields, hog manure became quite a resource.
Russell says the change in the status of manure has prompted the law center to create on-line tools for farmers to help them create manure use agreements. He says it’s an interesting change in manure agreements as in the past it was a matter of the landowners giving permission for someone to put manure on their land, while now the landowners are competing to get the manure on their land as fertilizer. Russell says now there is actually "money changing hands and deals being made" over the manure.
Russell says in the past the applicator, or the person who got the manure from the hogs was in charge of everything, but that could change with people now buying the manure, and he says that could change as people buy manure. Russell says the survey also found that as the value of manure has risen in the past two years, the opposition of neighbors to hog expansion has decreased.
Russell says farmers and industry leaders can access the on-line Manure Agreement Decision Making Tool, through the Drake Law Center’s website .