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An economic model was developed to evaluate cost and value of manure distribution. Feedlots ranging in size from 2,500 head to 25,000 head one-time capacities were used as case studies to calculate excretion amounts from cattle fed diets with a range of phosphorus. Diet P and subsequent costs of distributing the manure were used to analyze the corresponding costs of manure distribution, in addition to determining the required available land needed to be in compliance with a nutrient management plan based on utilization of manure P by the crops grown.
The model illustrated when animals are fed diets of increasing P concentration, total distribution cost increased, ranging from $2.10 - $6.70/hd finished/yr, as did application time (186-2810 hrs) and required spreadable hectares (130-2520 ha), but the agronomic and market value of manure produced increased at a rate faster than the rate of increasing costs of distribution for feedlots ranging in size from 2,500 to 25,000 head capacity, and land availability as low as 50%.