Manure Analysis

Properly managing manure is rapidly becoming an integral facet of farm management. A typical cow produces 120 lbs. (54 kg) of manure per day. A 100 cow herd will produce 2190 tons per year making manure management a major farm enterprise. Environmental and water concerns will continue to place greater emphasis on nutrient composition, storage, handling, and time and place of spreading.

Analyzing manure for its nutrient composition is required to effectively manage it. Determining N, P, and K provides information regarding its fertilizer value. Utilizing this information in conjunction with soil analyses will facilitate the development of nutrient management plans in accordance with state and federal regulations. This will lead to the efficient and effective application of manure to fields where it will provide the most value.

A Dairy One manure analysis provides the following information to use as a basis for developing sound nutrient management plans.

  • Total Nitrogen (N)
  • Ammonia Nitrogen
  • Organic Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Phosphate Equivalent as P2O5
  • Potassium (K)
  • Potash Equivalent as K2O
  • Total solids (dry matter)
  • Density

Results are reported as percentages, lbs./ton, and lbs./1000 gallons.

A Dairy One manure analysis should be an integral part of your farm management strategy. Manure kits are available free of charge by contacting the lab. Refer to the Manure Sampling section below for instructions on obtaining a good sample.

Taking a Sample

The sample should be representative of the entire material being sampled. Storage areas should be sampled each time they are emptied. Daily spread operations should be sampled at least four times throughout the year to obtain an accurate average nutrient value. Where bedding is used, samples should include both bedding and manure. Sampling is best done from the spreader when manure is being loaded from the barn or storage. This will provide the most representative sample of the nutrient content at time of spreading. 16oz. (500ml) wide mouth plastic screw top containers are available upon request.  Contact customer support for more information.

See the reverse side of the sample submission form for more detailed sampling instructions.

Submitting a Sample

Manure and Compost Sample Submission Form

For fecal starch analysis, please see our Forage Analytical Services and submit a Forage Submission Form.

Handling and Shipping

Send by express service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) or drop off at your nearest Dairy One pick-up point. Find the nearest drop-off point here. Be sure to include a completed submission form with payment information.

All fields should be regularly soil tested. Testing is essential to meet plant nutrient requirements for maximizing economic yields. Use the information from the soil and manure analyses to develop your nutrient management plan. For additional information, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent.