Potential Changes in Your Manure Analysis

In my last article, I wrote about changes to diets, pig flows, and even the weather and how that may affect manure values this fall. I recently took a manure sample (taken on August 4/20) on a hog barn that has had annual testing done on it to get an idea of any changes that may have occurred this year. The sample was taken about six weeks earlier than it had typically been taken. 

Here are the changes I found in this sample: 

  • N increase of 7% 
  • P remained the same 
  • K increase of 8% 
  • Total gallons in the pit were down 

The pit was at 4.1’ this year versus being at 4.75’ at the same time last year. I attribute a good portion of this to the drier weather, but stretching the length of a turn due to less packer space was also a factor (fewer pigs in barn for longer period of time). 

Testing manure is important every year but even more so this year due to changes we have seen in the livestock industry. Obviously, this data I have is not scientific and was only from one barn, but it does show that there may be some changes in the analysis this year—enough where sampling will be very important. 

With today’s tough economy and even though fertilizer prices are relatively cheap, a $60 manure sample can easily pay for itself by fine-tuning application rates due to changing manure analysis.