How to turn manure from a cost into an asset
As you know, manure is full of fertilizing nutrients. But handling manure is difficult: how do you reduce the negative impact of manure while increasing its positive effects?
Some see manure as a cost. But with good manure management, manure can actually help you boost the overall profitability of your farm. Manure handling can cut the costs in the following ways:
- a clean barn reduces hoof problems and vet costs
- if udders are clean, you decrease pre-milking preparation time and can increase throughput
- cleaner cows also mean lower cell counts and better quality milk
- reducing emissions is good for you and your cows, but also for the soil and water supply.
But how do you get the balance right between the negative and positive effects of manure? In other words: how do you ensure sustainability and profitability?
- There are many variables to take into consideration. Is your manure solid, semi-solid or slurry? Do you use sand for bedding, or straw? What do your cows eat? What kind of housing do you have?
On the other side of the equation are questions such as: type of soil, temperature, amount of rain and crop nutrient uptake.