If you drive anywhere in the upper Midwest where there are pig production facilities you are bound to occasionally sense an ‘aroma’ in the air as producers apply a year’s worth of manure to agricultural lands.
While there is still some ‘aroma’ associated with this annual task, producers have become more sensitive to their local community needs regarding this ‘aroma’.
It is rare anymore to see anyone surface applying liquid manure. The volatilization of the nitrogen in the manure is a huge economic loss in addition to the odors associated with the management practice.
Anhydrous ammonia (82.4% N) is currently priced around $550/ton which translates into just under $0.23/lb N cost. If you apply 3000 gal/acre of liquid manure from a deep pit storage device with an analysis of 60 lb of N per 1000 gal, this is 180 lb of N or $41.40 of N per acre.
Surface applied manure looses approximately 50% of its N due to volatilization within 5-7 days or $20/acre loss.