Have you ever wondered how much a manure application is worth for your operation? Manure and other organic products have an economic value because they provide nutrients for crops and save money on fertilizer expense. However, assigning an exact dollar value can be a bit complicated. The University of Maryland has an Organic Nutrient Value Calculator (ONVC) available to assist with this calculation.
The following information is needed to use the ONVC:
Once you have this information you can access the ONVC online. Download the Excel spreadsheet to your computer. Open it and you will see blue and yellow cells. The blue cells have a drop-down arrow where you will select from options. You may type information into the yellow cells.
The ONVC will display the dollar value of each of the nutrients supplied by the organic nutrient source. Please note, value is only assigned according to the needs of the crop (the recommendations from the Nutrient Management Plan). Excessive nutrients are given a value of “0”.
Other factors to consider are the cost of application and incorporation. Compare the cost of incorporation to the Value of NH4-NL $/acre (last cell in the “Value of Organic Source” table of the ONVC).
Additional information from the ONVC:
Additional benefits to the soil from applying an organic product such as addition of organic matter and improving soil tilth are not given any value by the ONVC. These benefits are difficult to quantify and therefore not incorporated into the ONVC.
I hope you will enjoy playing with the ONVC calculator!