Date of this Version
Manure is a valuable resource that is sometimes perceived as a liability. For centuries, manure has provided needed nutrients which increased and stabilized food production. With the advent of inorganic chemical fertilizers, the value of manure as a nutrient source decreased because hauling and spreading costs were higher than the cost of chemical feritlizers. In addition, the water content of manure is high and even when the water is removed, its nutrient content is low compared to chemical fertilizers. Therefore, manure has often been viewed in American agriculture as a "waste" to be disposed of rather than a resource to be used.