Pork producer says hog manure improves bottom line and couldn’t come at a better time
A South-Central Nebraska farmer says he’s using hog manure to increase his profitability in the wake of skyrocketing input costs.
Will Traudt says he started his custom hog operation in 2014 in an effort to lower his fertilizer costs. “Nothing fantastic or outstanding, but it was very, very solid. At that point and time, it reduced our commercial fertilizer purchases about 60 to 70 percent. Now, you fast forward to the last 12 months, that has now tripled.”
He tells Brownfield yields have jumped 15 to 20 bushels-per-acre and there’s room for improvement. “What we’re stepping into is trying to go with hog manure or hog slurry and then supplement our side dress with our commercial fertilizer for an extra 30 or 40 pounds just to see if we can tweak it a little bit.”
And, Traudt says, hog manure has been able to support two crops. “Then we go with a 50/50 rotation. When we apply that manure, it’s good for two crops – corn and then soybeans. Then, we apply it again,” he says. “We’re getting two crops out of one manure application.”
He says he applies hog manure to poorer soils and has seen an increase in soil health, while commercial fertilizer has been consistent.
Brownfield spoke with Traudt at the 2022 Nebraska Pork Expo.