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Changing Swine Diets Impacts Manure Value

Changing swine diet formulation has the potential to dramatically change manure values. Iowa State University Extension Swine Field Specialists Dave Stender and Matt Swantek are putting the finishing touches on a spreadsheet to compare the feed savings from diet formulation to the value of nutrients in the manure. Swantek also developed a feeding model to predict the feed cost and manure nutrient changes on a per-pig basis.


Stender and Swantek explained what they learned about the potential economic implications producers may face at the recent Waste-to-Worth Conference in a presentation entitled, “Economic Analysis of Swine Diet Cost versus Manure Value.”


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Using the model, the researchers found that the value of manure ranged from $41.52 to $84.77 per 1,000 gal. The range of more than $5/head is 2.5 times more than the standard labor cost of about $2.00/head. Stender and Swantek noted that the higher nutrient value per gallon makes transportation more cost-effective. It is also more environmentally desirable to transport the manure to fields with low phosphorus soil tests, rather than to over-apply nutrients in fields next to the facility.


The researchers point out that water wastage causes a wide variation in manure test results and can mask the diet formulation differences that would be important to pork producers.


Stender and Swantek will be holding educational workshops to explain their spreadsheet, which will be posted on the Iowa Pork Industry Center Web page,, when it is completed.


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