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What's manure worth? calculator

Bob Koehler, University of Minnesota Southwest Research & Outreach Center (retired), and Bill Lazarus and Will Meland, UM Department of Applied Economics


  • Estimates of the economic value of manure are important in comparing manure application rates and methods, valuing manure for off-farm sale, budgeting new facilities, and evaluating contract livestock production opportunities.

  • Use this calculator to rapidly estimate the value of manure for specific manure types, application methods, soil nutrient status, and crop need.

  • The estimates are based on fertilizer replacement value and application costs.

This calculator is based on the spreadsheet “What is manure worth?”, developed by: Bob Koehler — University of Minnesota Southwest Research & Outreach Center (retired), and Bill Lazarus and Will Meland — UM Department of Applied Economics

Click the Recalculate button located at the bottom of each step to ensure any values you've entered are reflected in the calculations.

Step 1: Fertilizer Costs if Using No Manure

    Nutrient Costs per lb
1. Nitrogen (N) $
2. Phosphate (P5O2) $
3. Potash (K2O) $
    Nutrients Needed per Acre
(Do not include starter fertilizer amounts as manure will not replace starter.)
4. Nitrogen (N)  lb
5. Phosphate (P2O5)  lb
6. Potash (K2O)  lb
    (N - P5O2 - K2O)
  Required Nutrients (from above) (140  - 45  - 40 )
  Total Cost of N, P2O5, and K2O $122.75 /acre
7. Cost of Purchased N Stabilizer and Micronutrients per Acre $ /acre
8. N Fert. Application Cost Avoided When Manure Covers Need  $ /acre
8a.  Dry P2O5 and K2O Fertilizer Application Cost Avoided $ /acre
9. Total Cost for Applied Commercial Fertilizer $138.25/acre

Step 2: How much Fertilizer Can You Replace With Manure?

10.  Manure Species
11. Liquid or Solid
12. Acres Available for Manure  acres
13. Volume of Manure Available to be Applied  gals
14. Nutrients Typical in this Manure, lb (N- P2O5 - K2O) (29  - 18  - 26 )/1000 gal
15. Use the Above Default Nutrient Values?
  If No, Enter Your Nutrient Test Results Here:  
16. N, lb  /1000 gal
17. P2O5, lb  /1000 gal
18. K2O, lb  /1000 gal
19. Manure Application Method
20. Typical Nutrient Availability for this Application Method (% N - P2O5 - K2O) (60 % - 80 % - 90 %)
21. Use This Value for Nitrogen Availability?
22. If No, enter your own N availability (%) %
23. Rate of Application: N or P2O5 based?
24. Application Rated Needed / Acre, Based on Your Choices: 8046  gals
25. Application rate / acre: Enter Your Planned Rate  gals
26. Replacement Value of Micro-nutrients in Manure /acre
     (N- P2O5 - K2O)
27. Nutrients Required by Crop per Acre (140 - 45 - 40)  lb 
28. Nutrients Applied per Acre at Your Rate (140  - 116  - 188 ) lb
29. Commercial Fertilizer Cost Saved for N, P2O5, and K2O $122.75 /acre
30. Total Nutrient and Application Cost Saved, Year 1 $138.25 /acre
30a. Extra fertilizer N required in addition to manure at the manure application rate you selected. 0  lb
30b. If you plan to purchase this extra N, enter the DIFFERENCE in cost (if any) for this extra N compared to the N price in line 1 (if applied in a different form, such as urea rather than NH3). $ /lb of N
30c. Total Nutrient and Application Cost Saved, Year 1 when the amount in Line 30 is adjusted for the change in per pound cost (Line 30b) of the extra fertilizer N. $138.25

Step 3: Final Adjustments

Year 2 Benefits
31. Consider Year 2 Nutrient Credits in this Analysis?
32. % of Applied Nitrogen Available in Year 2 25%  
    (N- P2O5 - K2O)
33. Potential Nutrients Available in  Year 2, per acre (58  - 71  - 148 ) lb
  Nutrients That Will be Credited in Year 2 (or later for P2O5 & K2O)
34. N, lb /acre 
35. P5O2, lb /acre 
36. K2O, lb /acre 
37. Year 2: Total Value of Residual Nutrients Credited $14.50
  Manure Yield Boost
38. Per Acre +/- for Yield Impact ($)  $  
39. Per Acre +/- for Tillage or Other ($) $  
  Application Cost
40. Cost of Applying at Your Planned Rate, per Unit $  
41. Total Cost of Manure Application, Per Acre 100.58
  Total Fertilizer Cost If Supplying Year 1 Nutrient Needs as Commercial Fertilizer 138.25


  Value of Manure Application Per Acre and Per Unit  
42. Gross Nutrient Value, Year 1 138.25/acre
43. Gross Nutrient Value, Year 2 14.50
44. Yield and/or Tillage Impacts 20.00
45. Total Gross Value of Manure 172.75
46. Total Gross Value of Manure 0.021/gal
47 Net Value of Manure Above Appl. Cost 72.17/acre
48. Net Value of Manure Above Appl. Cost 0.009/gal
49.   8.97 /1000 gal
  Facility/Farm Totals  
50 Manure Available to be Applied 300000  gals
51. Planned Application Rate 8046  gals
52. Acres Receiving Manure at Planned Application Rate 37  acres 
53. Net Value in Excess of Application Cost $2670
54. Manure Left Over after Spreading, if Any 0  gals
55. Acres Available for Manure 100  acres 
56. Manure Needed to Cover All Acres at Selected Rate 804600  gals

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