Manure TestingThere is a great article in AGRI-NEWS, March 5, 2016 entitled, “Manure delivers soil health, crop nutrient benefits” by  Tom C. Doran

The article looks at the benefits of manure from an economic standpoint:

Depending on species and how much precipitation water is getting into that manure, every 1,000 gallons of liquid dairy or liquid swine manure is going to have somewhere between $6 and $35 worth of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium per 1,000 gallons.

In addition, the article really recommends taking a proper sample and having the manure tested to know exactly what type of nutrient volumes are being applied.

Erb strongly encourages farmers to have an actual manure analysis. Simply dipping a 5-gallon bucket into the edge of the pit for a sample does not suffice.Samples should be mixed thoroughly. Erb recommends safely taking four or five samples from every other load with a coffee can, mix those together and send a sample to the lab.An analysis should cost between $30 and $45; including a micronutrient test may cost a bit more. This provides a starting point to determine how much the manure is actually worth when entering into an agreement between farms.

Typically, swine manure contains 58 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 gallons, 23 pounds of phosphate and 33 pounds of potassium.

On the other hand, the solid diary manure doesn’t contain as much ammonia and provides about one-half the nitrogen as swine depending on the situation. However, the nitrogen content always is higher than phosphorous.

Soil  Benefits

The fields where manure was applied do better in drier summers when it turns hot during corn pollination. Part of the reason is organic matter is being added back to the soil which obviously has benefits – it’s increasing the soil water-holding capacity. Another benefit, particularly in some of the tighter soils with a bit more clay content, is that increased organic matter is increasing filtration.

Midwest Laboratories

Manure samples are received every day for analysis. Midwest Laboratories has the capacity to receive large volumes of manure samples and the typical analysis turnaround time i

Midwest Laboratories offers the following basic manure package for $40.00.


Moisture/Total Solids, Total Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash, Sulfur, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, pH, Ammonium Nitrogen,
Organic Nitrogen

If you would like more information regading manure analysis, call and speak to Midwest Laboratories Representative Rob Ferris  at 402-334-7770 or Email

Also, consider ordering your manure analysis online at the Midwest Laboratories eStore. The analysis also includes sampling containers for sending the sample to Midwest Laboratories.

photo credit: Ecoremedy Gasifier Case Study Pennsylvania via photopin (license)