Manure Testing

How to Interpret the Results from Manure Testing

Many lab reports will give information about the nutrient content, dry matter, and moisture of the manure sample that was submitted. The format of the report can differ based on the type of manure submitted, the analysis requested, and the lab that completed the analysis. The results are typically reported as a percent by weight per ton on both dry matter and an “as received” basis. If the lab doesn’t provide the “as received” values, you can use the dry matter values and convert them using a formula. Fertilizer recommendations will be based on inorganic nitrogen and phosphorous content.
Livestock manure can be a valuable resource. When applied to cropland, manure improves soil structure, gives nutrients for crop production, and helps reduce the amount of commercial fertilizer that is needed to yield results. In order to realize the full potential of the manure, testing needs to be done as part of the nutrient management plan.