High fertilizer prices drive poultry sales

PURDY, MO - High commercial fertilizer prices are creating more interest in using poultry litter to grow crops from grass to corn.
calendar icon 27 March 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

As of last week, a ton of commercial fertilizer with a 3-1-2 blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium could cost $360 a ton.

Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, Mount Vernon, said it takes an average of three acres for a cow-calf unit. At $360 a ton, it would cost $50 an acre for fertilizer, adding $150 to the cost to keep the cow-calf operation going.

The same amount of fertilizer last year averaged $25 an acre, Cole said.

In the face of soaring fertilizer prices, some producers are looking for poultry litter.

The key to litter is getting it from major poultry producing counties such as Newton, McDonald, Lawrence and Barry to farms in counties with no poultry houses.

A federal program to pay costs to haul litter out of Newton and McDonald counties to fields to the north is ending in April, said Lynn Jenkins, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist, Neosho.

Source: The Joplin Globe

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