Stories about manure often illustrate two opposing sentiments. Is manure a "waste" that pollutes our water resources and creates undesirable nuisances for communities? Or, is manure a "resource" that reduces the demand for importing greenhouse gas intensive inorganic fertilizers and improves the health of our soils?
Both statements contain some truth. However, the balance of the truth lies in the management choices made during the storage and utilization of animal manures. When using manure in cropping systems, "How can manure's benefits be maximized, and undesirable traits minimized?"
A team of university educators and agricultural organizations would like to better understand producers' views on factors that impact manure use on cropland. What issues are most important to you as you make decisions for the use of manure in cropping systems? Why do you choose manure over other fertilizers? Or commercial fertilizers instead of manure? We know manure can create challenges; which of these challenges are "deal breakers" preventing manure use on some fields? Which barriers and benefits drive your decisions about manure use in cropland?
To answer those questions, the collaborative team is asking producers to participate by sharing their perspective in a 15-minute survey.
This is a project of the University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State University, North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, Manure Manager, Certified Crop Adviser and the Fertilizer Institute.