What's that manure worth? There's an app for that.
Actually, the smartphone app from the University of Arkansas helps estimate the dollar and nutrient value of manure as a crop input, according to a news release.
The app was developed by Dharmendra Saraswat, an associate professor and Extension engineer, in collaboration with Karl VanDevender, a professor and Extension engineer.
The app, known as Manure Valuator, is based on the premise that the monetary value of manure is linked to the market value for inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers that the animal waste is replacing.
This means the value of manure depends on crop N, P and K recommendations, the manure N, P and K content, and the amount applied.
Users enter the cost of commercial fertilizer either on a dollar per-ton or dollar per-pound basis.
If dollar per-ton values are used, the app converts them to dollars per pound of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Then users enter the crop's N, P and K needs, ideally based on recent soil test recommendations.
They also select one of 18 different choices of dry and liquid manure.
After the desired manure application rate is entered, the app calculates N, P and K fertilizer replacement value. Users also can play "what if" to evaluate the effects of different rates.