Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published in 2003 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane Reese, Extension Swine Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Economic analyses were performed on anaerobic digestion of manure from swine finishing operations. The main factors considered were facility size (1,000 head; 3,500 head; and 10,000 head) and method of financial support provided (cost-share program, no-interest loans, tax subsidies, and subsidized electrical sales). Installation of a digester system is a significant investment that is currently very difficult to justify economically to Nebraska producers based upon consideration of currently available income and expense estimates, regardless of facility size. Swine finishing operations looking to invest in this technology would benefit most from a no-interest loan or cost-share program – policies that relate directly to the capital cost incurred. Larger operations are more likely to place a value on odor control and would experience a lower unitized effective cost than smaller operations. The effective cost may still be unwieldy in an industry with tight profit margins, however.