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Iowa Minute: Does Iowa have too much manure?

Does Iowa have too much manure? Laurie Johns chats with Dr. Daniel Andersen, ISU Biosystems Engineer, to see what all the fuss is about. Manure is a source of nitrogen for fertilizer, and you might be surprised to learn just how valuable it is.

 

 

Iowa Minute Transcript

Laurie Johns: Iowans love meat. And why not? It's got the perfect protein that our bodies need to stay strong. Iowa does lead the nation in livestock farming, but some have questions if it creates too much manure. So, does Iowa have too much manure?   

Dr. Daniel Andersen, ISU Biosystems Engineer: When you look at the state of Iowa, only about 30% of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium we need to actually grow our crops can be supplied by animal manures. We have land capacity to double our animal production and still utilize it all as a fertilizer.

Laurie Johns: Dr. Daniel Andersen is a biosystems engineer who studies manure management and helps Iowa farmers get certified to apply manure responsibly. He says there's a lot of misinformation about manure.

Dr. Andersen: But when we talk about sustainability, nitrogen's a precious resource to us, right? It takes a lot of energy to make nitrogen fertilizers to use for crop production. So if we can find ways to make sure that we're recycling that nutrient, utilizing it as a resource, there's opportunities there.

Laurie Johns: To learn more, check out Dr. Andersen's TheManureScoop.blogspot.com.



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